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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.

Go deeper

Jan 14, 2021 - Technology

Google completes Fitbit acquisition

Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Google has completed its acquisition of connected fitness device maker Fitbit, the search giant announced in a blog post Thursday.

Why it matters: Google's successful purchase of Fitbit comes as antitrust regulators around the world scrutinize large tech companies for their acquisitions, past and present.

Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks abortion restrictions

A pro-choice activist demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4, 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked three abortion restrictions set to take effect on Nov. 1.

Why it matters: The laws would place new limits on medication-induced abortions and require doctors who perform abortions to attain board certification in obstetrics and gynecology.

U.S. freezes aid to Sudan over military coup

Protesting the coup in Khartoum. Photo: AFP via Getty

The Biden administration has frozen a $700 million aid package to Sudan after a military coup on Monday threatened to end the country's transition toward democracy.

Driving the news: At least three protesters have been killed and dozens wounded in the chaotic scenes that followed the announcements from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling council, dissolving the government and declaring a state of emergency.