Google and CCP launch partnership to expand access to tech certificate courses in Philly

There are thousands of tech job vacancies in Philly. A new partnership between CCP and Google hopes to fill the void by offering industry-recognized certifications.

Guy Generals speaking at a podium.

Donald Guy Generals, president of Community College of Philadelphia speaks about partnership with Google to provide students there with access to Google Career Certificates course that will lead high-tech, high demand jobs in AI, cyber security and IT support. (Courtesy of Community College of Philadelphia)

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Community College of Philadelphia is partnering with Google to expand student access to courses and industry-recognized certificates in high-demand areas like cyber security, data analytics and tech support.

CCP President Donald “Guy” Generals says there are about 2,000 vacancies in these fields in Philadelphia.

“This [partnership] eradicates the false dichotomy between the traditional [education] and the job development workforce opportunities that Google can provide,” Generals said.

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Students do not need any prior experience and can enroll on CCP’s website. Other courses include Google Career Certificate training in artificial intelligence, digital marketing and e-commerce, project management and UX design (user experience).

Each course, which can be completed in about six months, costs $536. Students can learn at their own pace. Some scholarships are available.

Winton Steward, who leads Google’s Midwest government and public policy, said the partnership is an important opportunity for workforce development.

“We continue these career certificate programs to make tech jobs accessible and to provide access to economic opportunity for everyone,” Steward said. “We also know that community colleges are on the front line of serving underserved communities.”

Also in attendance for the announcement were a host of CCP and Google executives, along with local elected officials, including state Rep. Morgan Cephas, a CCP trustee. It was Cephas who brought the tech mogul and CCP together.

“Community college plays a pivotal role in our city,” Cephas said. “This is a great opportunity not just for our students, but also for our city.”

As part of the partnership, Google, one of the world’s largest tech companies, has created a network of 150 Pennsylvania employers, including Expedient Data Center, SAP America and Project Management Institute.

“At Expedient we cultivate talent with experience, fostering a passion for IT and technology,” said Leah Toth, senior manager for recruiting and retention. “We hire entry-level talent and provide the environment to develop our future leaders. Expedient’s partnership … has been pivotal in helping identify and hire top talent.”

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Google reached a similar agreement last year to offer certification courses to students at Pennsylvania’s 10 state-owned universities.

“We know first-hand what a talented workforce Pennsylvania has,” Steward said. “Nearly six years ago, Google launched the “Grow With Google” program in Pittsburgh, to help Americans gain the skills they need to get a high demand job and to grow their businesses using technology.”

Google said it’s partnered with more than 350 organizations and trained more than 380,000 Pennsylvanians.

“Google continues to partner across the keystone state and make investments in the Pennsylvania workforce,” Steward said.

Nationwide, there are roughly 2.4 million entry-level jobs in the Google Certificate disciplines, with annual median salaries of $76,000, according to Google.

About 75% of the people who complete the certificate courses have reported a positive impact on their careers, in the way of an increase in pay, a promotion, or a new job, according to Google.

Meanwhile, for CCP, this partnership is one of many announced this year, along with a major rebranding and new logo.

In March, the city said it would partner with CCP and the School District of Philadelphia to create its first “municipal academy” to train high school students and city workers for hard-to-fill city jobs or promotions.

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