Updated Dec 23, 2020 - Axios Events

3. Why alternative pathways to jobs is about more than money

Man leans closer to his desktop computer, smiling.

Expanding access to digital tools, online training, and certificate programs could bring American workers closer to landing in-demand jobs that offer the potential for higher pay, but there’s more to it.

What this means: Some experts at Google’s Powering Economic Opportunity: New Pathways to Job Recovery event noted that making these online tools accessible can help create an equal playing field with equal access to new opportunities.

The challenge: But, as one expert said, getting to that point requires that more Americans have access to alternative ways to learn and reskill.

What some people are doing: Employers and nonprofits are already reskilling people through certificate programs.

  • But Maria Flynn, president and CEO of Jobs for the Future (JFF), and other experts believe that partnerships formed by governments, nonprofits and other companies can work together to reskill even more American job seekers, particularly those coming from underserved communities.

One example: Flynn’s organization partnered with Google to help community college students earn certificates in high-growth fields.

  • Key numbers: Over 400,000 people have enrolled in Google’s online certificate program on Coursera, and taken the course with help from partners like Jobs for the Future.

The result: economic recovery, a more equal playing field for jobs, and a workforce that begins to engage in continuous lifelong learning for whatever new job markets arise throughout their working lives.

Why it’s important: COVID-19 has upended the way we work, permanently eliminating some jobs and leaving many workers unemployed. The disruption has pushed many to look to technology to reskill and thrive.

  • “What we are seeing on a positive note is how resilient Americans are, and we're seeing them put technology to work,” Grow with Google Vice President Lisa Gevelber said.
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