Google announced on Thursday that it will launch a $100 million Google Career Certificates Fund in an effort to increase the wages of American workers. The fund, which was announced via video in tandem with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, is anticipated to reach 20,000 people via Google Career Certificates.
Unlike Amazon's free college program for employees, Google's program is aimed at job seekers. This certification program provides online professional training in subjects spanning from IT support to data analytics on Coursera with the goal of getting more people into high-growth industries and positions. Financial nonprofit Social Finance will be in charge of distributing the funds from Google to other organizations like Merit America and Year Up.
The program is designed for students to pay zero upfront costs for the three to six-month courses, but Google certificate students are expected to repay program costs if they land a job that pays at least $40,000 annually. While the exact amount of the monthly payments was not shared in the announcement, Google said it will be low no-interest payments for Social Finance to reinvest in the program for additional participants.
Google’s initiative relates to President Biden’s larger push for access to education and higher-paying jobs. “The Biden administration is laser-focused on creating good-paying jobs for American workers, and it is especially important for us to come up with creative solutions that enable women and parents to fully participate in our economy,” said Raimondo.