This month, Google announced that it is coming to Roanoke as part of its Grow with Google initiative to help create economic opportunity in communities across the United States. Google will kick-start this work locally by hosting a free, one-day event on March 4 at Roanoke’s Main Library, located at 706 S Jefferson St SW, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The event is designed to help job seekers, small business owners, students, educators, and entrepreneurs improve their digital skills. Attendees are welcome to drop in for a few sessions or stay all day.
“The vision of the Roanoke Public Libraries is to create services that ‘Engage, Educate and Empower’ citizens,” said Library Director Sheila S. Umberger. “Every day, we work to support small business development, job searches, and technology skills. Through Grow with Google, the Roanoke community will be able to attend free workshops to strengthen important digital skills.”
Google launched Grow with Google in 2017 with the goal of helping all Americans access the best of Google’s training and tools to grow their skills, careers, and businesses. It aims to help address the skills gap by preparing Americans for middle-skill jobs; positions that require some skills, but not four-year degrees. According to the National Middle Skills Initiative, middle-skill jobs account for 49 percent of Virginia’s labor force.
The American Library Association reports that nearly three-quarters of public libraries assist their patrons with job applications and interviewing skills, 90 percent help their patrons learn basic digital skills, and just under half provide access and assistance to entrepreneurs looking to start a business of their own. “Because of this trend, hosting Grow with Google training at the Roanoke Public Libraries is a natural fit. We look forward to partnering with Google now and in the future to help strengthen the Roanoke community and economy,” said Sheila S. Umberger.
Grow with Google plans to visit libraries in every state, partnering with them to deliver digital skills training directly to job seekers and small businesses in their community. The tour will also visit two other Virginia communities, Herndon and Richmond.
To learn more about the free event and to register, visit g.co/GrowVirginia. Space will be limited, so please register in advance. To contact Roanoke Public Libraries Director Sheila Umberger, call 853-2476 or send an email to [email protected].