Sundar Pichai returned to Pittsburgh as CEO of Google to announce the company's plans to give $1 billion to Americans who need an education to get a job or grow their business. He chose Pittsburgh to announce Grow with Google because when he left India 24 years ago to attend school, it was the first
city in America he stopped at when he arrived.
The nature of work is continually evolving, and people must adapt. During the next five years, the initiative will commit the money to nonprofits aimed at training American workers and helping build businesses.
Pittsburgh is home to Carnegie Mellon, but it's also known as the steel city because of all the steel factories that rose up in the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Many of those jobs were lost to machines as technology and automation became available.
Google's announcement Thursday acknowledges that the company takes some responsibility for reshaping industries, eliminating jobs and forging new ones based on technology. One challenge that remains is that many workers who have been laid off require new skills. This program aims to give them the opportunity to market themselves.
In Pennsylvania, about 58,000 businesses and nonprofits use Google's search and advertising tools to grow, the company estimates. Last year, those tools helped generate economic activity of about $6.32 billion in Pennsylvania. But Pichai says that's not enough.
Google's grants will go toward three areas: education, economic opportunity and inclusion. In the past few months, it has
handed out $100 million of the $1 billion to nonprofits. The largest grant of $10 million belongs to Goodwill, which is creating the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator.
During the next three years, Goodwill will provide 1 million people with access to digital skills and career opportunities. Pichai also says about 1,000 Google employees will donate 1 million volunteer hours to assist organizations like Goodwill to close the gap between education and skills in order to meet the demands of the 21st century workplace.
Pichai is not alone. Others in the advertising industry, such as Will Margiloff, CEO of IgnitionOne, recognize that many in the industry are "missing the smarts" on how to manage campaigns running on new and emerging technologies, especially when it comes to programmatic.