As part of their national “Grow with Google” tour, the tech giant visited Tucson, Phoenix, and Flagstaff last week to provide free training on Google’s wide spectrum of tools.
Google partnered with libraries around the country to make the trainings free and accessible to jobseekers, businesses, and everyday citizens seeking to hone their tech skills. Whether a business leader wants to learn about how to list her company on Google Search or a recent graduate hopes to optimize his resume on Google Docs, the training provides valuable lessons to people and businesses of all backgrounds.
“This tour that we’re doing here in Arizona — this is a 50-state tour — so we’re taking Google on the road, and we’re partnering with libraries to put these workshops into local communities,” said Google representative Josh Auffret. “Arizona is the 14th state, so we’re definitely seeing a high demand from these different nonprofits and small businesses and libraries in particular that are hungry to build their curriculums. Libraries are increasingly the central meeting place for these communities to have access to the internet and to public computers.”
The training consists of four workshops: “training the trainer,” which teaches educators and libraries how to convey these tools to other crowds down the road, an advanced business workshop, lessons for intermediate/novice Google users, and individual sessions specializing in different tools. Because of the diversity of lessons, the workshop is impactful for a wide variety of people; in fact, over two hundred people signed up for each of the three training sessions, according to Auffret.
“Based on what I saw, it’s really everybody across the board — the broad cross-section of individuals coming in for the training,” Auffret continues. “It could be businesses that are brand new and looking to get online, it could be businesses that have existed for a number of years that just need more of that digital know-how. Or you know, people that want to know more about search or maps or Google Ads. So, we have more savvy users to even people who haven’t used Google email before, so there’s this broad cross-section demographic wise or age wise coming in.”
In their annual economic impact report, Google revealed that their search and advertising tools generated $335 billion of economic activity, impacting more than 1.3 million businesses, developers, and nonprofits across the nation. In Arizona alone, 26,000 businesses used Google’s search and advertising tools, which created $5.55 billion in economic activity.
Beyond their economic impact, Google has an altruistic mission: to increase the accessibility of technology across the nation and globe. Auffret reflected on his own childhood experiences with the library and its wondrous amount of information.
“I grew up going to the Tempe Public Library with my sister and remember it always being a huge event, “ he said. “Even reflecting on those experiences coming into this event, I remembered how informative those experiences were being in the library and having access to the world’s information. Which is why this collaboration with Google and libraries is so compelling in terms of Google’s mission to make information and technology available to people of all walks of life.”