Upwardly Global Connects Immigrants and Refugees to Workforce Tech Training Program with Support from Google.org

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The collaboration between Upwardly Global and Google.org has driven over $4M in wage gains for program participants to date

NEW YORKUpwardly Global announced a $1 million grant from Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, to provide the Google Career Certificates program with unique wraparound services to more immigrant and refugee job seekers. The certificates equip people for the in-demand fields of data analytics, e-commerce and digital marketing, IT support, project management, and user experience design within three to six months and support unemployed and underemployed immigrant and refugee job seekers into family-supporting jobs.

The new funding builds on Google.org’s existing work with Upwardly Global. Since 2018, Google.org has provided over $700,000 in funding to Upwardly Global to help nearly 400 immigrant and refugee job seekers access a Google Career Certificate. Upwardly Global’s program also provides job coaching, expert volunteer mentorship, and job-readiness training for learners. Upwardly Global’s offering of the Google Career Certificates program has already seen course completion rates of 68%, over four times the average for online courses generally, and promoted wage gains of over $4 million to date.

“This collaboration with Google.org poses an opportunity to provide a robust support network for job seekers working through this extremely valuable, career-building curriculum fully online,” says Jina Krause-Vilmar, Upwardly Global CEO and President. “Online skill-building courses still see low completion rates among job seekers with little to no time on their hands, and the motivation gained through ongoing mentorship makes all the difference.”

Given this period of heightened forced migration — from Afghanistan, Ukraine, Venezuela, Haiti and elsewhere — there is a critical need to offer services that connect newcomers to professional workforce needs, bolstering the U.S. economy and building stability for migrant communities.

Through Google.org’s reinvestment, Upwardly Global will provide access to the Google Career Certificates for immigrant and refugee job seekers, alongside coaching and mentorship support from volunteers from Google, with a goal of helping place them into digital economy jobs.

“The Google Career Certificate in project management was like a boot camp. Now, I’m very, very grateful because [the program] helped me find a job [as a project manager] that is way better than my last survival job,” says Carlos Cabrera, Upwardly Global alum and Google project management certificate earner.

Through the grant, Upwardly Global is also developing an employer portal to help enhance the ability of corporate America to connect with, hire, and retain immigrant and refugee talent. 

Upwardly Global’s Google Career Certificate learners benefit from gaining industry-recognized credentials as they rebuild their lives and careers in the U.S. To connect graduates to jobs, the Google Career Certificate program includes an employer consortium of over 150 companies — including Verizon, Walmart, and Google — that considers learners for relevant entry-level roles.

“As an immigrant from Venezuela, I’m uniquely thankful for programs like those of Upwardly Global that provide pathways for families like mine,” says Hector Mujica, Head of Economic Opportunity for Google.org in the Americas. “We’re proud to support Upwardly Global as they work to create more pathways to the digital economy and a more inclusive American dream.”

Google developed the Google Career Certificates to support skilling for in-demand fields. Available on Coursera, over 150,000 people have graduated from the program in the U.S., with 75% of them reporting a positive career impact, such as a new job, higher pay, or a promotion, within six months of completion. Fifty-five percent of graduates identify as Asian, Black, or Latino.


About Upwardly Global

Upwardly Global’s mission is to eliminate employment barriers for low-income immigrant and refugee professionals and to advance their inclusion into the U.S. economy. Since 2000, Upwardly Global has empowered unemployed or underemployed newcomers with the skills, career coaching, and social capital needed to rebuild their lives and careers. Learn more at UpwardlyGlobal.org.

About Google.org
Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, brings the best of Google to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges combining funding, product donations and technical expertise to support underserved communities and provide opportunity for everyone. We engage nonprofits, social enterprises and civic entities who make a significant impact on the communities they serve. Learn more at Google.org.

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