Tech giant Google has joined forces with a foundation that works with older Americans to provide digital skills training.
The AARP Foundation and Google.org – Google’s philanthropic arm – have collaborated to give technology and digital skills training to low-income senior workers over the age of 50.
The campaign will target 25,000 people with a particular emphasis on women and people of color.
The new approach comes as the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed how difficult it may be for certain elderly workers to pivot in the face of a change in circumstances.
The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College discovered those who were able to work from home fared the best.
Those who were less educated, and hence less adaptable, were more likely to suffer negative consequences.
Separate research from the Urban Institute discovered that digital skills play a significant role in whether or not older people can earn more and compete for jobs.
The program’s training sessions, which are set to begin in March, are designed to assist participants in finding employment, changing careers, or becoming entrepreneurs.
The sessions will be geared toward assisting older people in improving their economic stability and social connections.
Video conferencing, information security, and office productivity software, as well as online employment and networking tools, will be covered.
There will also be sessions on social media marketing, crowdfunding, mobile payment systems, and graphic design for aspiring businesses.
The workshops will be given by the AARP Foundation and AARP’s Older Adults Technology Services.
The AARP Foundation has received a $10 million donation from Google.org to sponsor the program.
Kent Walker, Google’s president of global affairs, said: “We believe that digital skills are important for this period and that the opportunities generated by new technologies should be available to everyone in any city, state, or age.”
The AARP Foundation, the nation’s largest advocacy group for older Americans, will judge the program’s success based on how well it helps participants increase their incomes and improve employment prospects for this vulnerable population, according to Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of the AARP Foundation.
The findings will enable AARP to compile a thorough economic impact study for the participating cities according to Ryerson,
Based on those findings, the organizations plan to consider scaling their efforts nationally.
Google is based at the Googleplex in California and employs 139,995 people around the world.