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Google's office in New York. Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A few years ago, Google started offering a non-college certificate program to help teach basic IT skills to future workers. Now, the tech giant is working to make sure more people — including community college students — have access to the curriculum.

Why it matters: The labor market has a big skills mismatch, with companies saying they can't find enough qualified applicants, while plenty of job seekers struggle to find meaningful and lucrative work.

Details: As part of the expansion, Google will make the certificate program free for community colleges and vocational high schools across the nation.

What they're saying: Alphabet chief financial officer Ruth Porat says the program's expansion beyond Google has been critical to its impact.

  • "It can't be about one company," Porat said in an interview. She notes that there are now 150 companies that are accepting the certificate as qualification for various jobs, including Walmart and Verizon, as well as Google itself.

By the numbers: So far, more than 50,000 people have graduated from the program in the U.S., with 150 companies now accepting the certificates for certain jobs.

Go deeper

Mapping Pennsylvania's Google searches on political issues

Data: Google Trends; Maps: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Pennsylvania's Google searches related to critical race theory occur more often in Democratic congressional districts, according to an Axios analysis of Google Trends data.

  • That includes the 4th and 6th Districts in Philadelphia's suburbs, represented by Rep. Madeleine Dean and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan.
  • Yes, but: The exception to this rule is the 1st District, where Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick represents Bucks and Montgomery counties.

Why it matters: Both parties will use data and technology to pinpoint issues that will resonate locally with voters through the 2022 midterms, Axios' Stef Kight writes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional leaders clinch support for crucial defense bill, debt limit votes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer passes waiting reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Congress has found a shortcut to pass its annual defense funding bill and raise the debt limit.

Driving the news: The House voted Tuesday night on two major bills — one creating a one-time, fast-track process for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, and another passing its annual defense bill.

House passes annual defense bill

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted to pass the annual defense bill 363-70 on Tuesday night, authorizing nearly $770 billion in funding for defenses and national security programs.

Why it matters: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) still has to clear the Senate, but the House passage greatly increases the chances that the must-pass defense bill will move through both chambers of Congress before the end of the year.

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