Google to give $2.5M grant to USO in effort to help veterans with IT skills find work

Many veterans leave active duty with information technology skills, but do not know how to take advantage of them when transitioning into the private sector.

Google is giving a $2.5 million grant to the United Service Organizations in an effort to change that in New Jersey.

Starting Oct. 1, the grant will enable the nonprofit to incorporate the Google IT Support Professional Certificate into its programming at the USO center in Newark Liberty International Airport.

Alan Reyes, senior vice president of operations, programs and transition for USO, said the training will be invaluable.

“There is an opportunity to re-equip service members with IT skills as they move onto their next chapter after military service and to help address the spouse unemployment/underemployment problem with highly portable careers in the IT industry,” he said in a statement.

“Through innovative partnerships like this, USO and Google will be able to provide the resources and programs that support the needs of transitioning service members and their families as well as help to minimize the workforce gap in the IT industry.”

The IT Support Professional Certificate developed by Google is a first-of-its kind program with highly interactive content which provides a direct route for those who successfully complete the program to get their information into the hands of employers, Lisa Gevelber, Google’s vice president of Grow with Google, said in a statement.

Since the majority of IT support positions do not require a college degree, but do require prior experience, the certificate is designed to give learners the training and experience they need to get a job in this growing field.

With 150,000 specific-IT job openings available across the United States, Google feels this program will provide an almost immediate benefit for companies seeking to fill these positions.

Gevelber said those who complete the certificate program will have the opportunity to share their information directly with more than 20 top employers that are looking to hire IT support talent, including Cognizant, Bank of America, GE Digital, Hulu, Infosys, Intel, Kforce, MCPc, PNC Bank, Ricoh USA, Sprint, TEKsystems, UPMC, Veterans United Home Loans, Walmart and, of course, Google.

“The transition process is complex, and we hope Grow with Google’s new tools and resources can play a part in making that easier,” Gevelber said.

Gevelber said the program is part of a series of new tools and resources Google introduced to help create economic opportunity for transitioning service members and military spouses.

Service members can now search “jobs for veterans” on Google and then enter their military occupational specialty code to see relevant civilian jobs that require similar skills to those used in their military roles. Additionally, employers can implement this feature on their own career sites using Google Cloud’s Talent Solution API.

To help veteran-owned or -led businesses identify themselves to potential customers, Google Maps and Search will offer a new attribute. The “veteran-led” designation will appear when searching for a place on Android or iOS mobile device or in Google Maps when they open a business listing and tap the two-line description of the business to see the attributes associated with that business.

For more information, or to register online, click here.