Hey, Google, when is the “Grow With Google” tour coming to Reno?
The answer is, “a lot sooner than you think.”
Google’s national digital training tour will make a stop in the Biggest Little City on August 6, the company confirmed with the Reno Gazette Journal on Wednesday morning.
The tour stop is part of Google’s efforts to launch its economic opportunity initiative program in Reno. In addition to the one-day Grow with Google tour stop in the city’s downtown, the company is also working with various partners in the area to bolster digital and “middle skills” training in Northern Nevada. Middle skills refer to job skills that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree.
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“We’re in early discussions with a number of organizations and community colleges,” said Aisha Taylor, Grow with Google community engagement manager. “Right now, we’re working with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada … and we have a number of community colleges we’ll be reaching out to.”
Middle skill jobs represent about 51 percent of Nevada’s workforce, according to the National Middle Skills Initiative. Eighty-two percent of middle-skill jobs also require digital skills, according to a study by Capital One and Burning Glass. Shoring up the digital and middle skills of the area’s workforce is a priority for policymakers and economic development proponents. Additional training is often linked to higher wages, which could help address some of the affordability issues seen in the Reno area, where the median income can no longer afford the median single-family house.
The Grow with Google tour will serve as an introduction to the various options available to those who want to take part in Google’s training programs. The programs are geared toward participants of various skill levels, from those with no tech background all the way up to more tech-savvy developers. The program should be a perfect fit for the community, said Doug Erwin, senior vice president of entrepreneurial development for EDAWN.
“I think the programming will resonate with small business owners, job seekers, and the robust startup community here in Reno,” Erwin said.
The event is free and open to people interested in brushing up their digital knowledge on topics such as search engine optimization or improving their existing digital skills for workforce development. These include students, educators, job seekers, small business owners, startup folks and entrepreneurs.
“The beauty of the event is that we want to make sure the programming and skill learning is really accessible regardless of whether you’re tech-savvy or just starting out,” Taylor said.
Small business owners, for example, can learn how to fine tune the listings for their company on Google search via the Google My Business tool and also get feedback on website marketing tactics. Students, meanwhile, can beef up their applied digital skills and learn how to use spreadsheets or do coding. The event will also feature a booth where people can learn how to acquire Google’s IT support certification as well as the full online curriculum Google offers via Coursera.
In addition to onsite workshops, attendees looking for a more personal experience can get that as well.
“We’ll be flying in Googlers from across the country to do one-on-one coaching that’s available onsite,” Taylor said. “The workshop tends to get full pretty fast so we encourage people to register and register early.”
If you go
The “Grow with Google” event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Nevada Museum of Art. You can register online at Google’s official Grow Reno site.