In keeping with his commitment to expand workforce development efforts across the Commonwealth, Governor Josh Shapiro announced a new public-private partnership between Google and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) that makes industry-recognized Google Career Certificates available to students and the public to help them secure good-paying jobs.
This new public-private partnership will enable PASSHE students to earn a Google Career Certificate during their regular undergraduate programs, allowing them to earn college credit and an industry-recognized certificate at the same time. To support continuing education efforts, PASSHE universities can also offer credentials to the public, through non-credit courses and workshops, giving those who complete the program access to Google’s employer consortium.
“It’s time for a blueprint for higher education focused on competitiveness and workforce development, one that is grounded in access and affordability,” said Shapiro. “Today, PASSHE has given us a clear example of what that can look like in practice, by connecting classroom learning to job-ready skills development so our students get the best of both worlds.
“We need to make sure that we craft, right now in the Commonwealth, a blueprint for higher education focused on competitiveness, focused on workforce development, and grounded in access and affordability for all.”
PASSHE is the first higher education system in Pennsylvania to partner with Google to offer Google Career Certificates. The program offers skills training in the fields of cybersecurity, data analytics, digital marketing & e-commerce, business intelligence, IT support, project management and user experience (UX) design, with no experience required. PASSHE will reach thousands of students and workers across the Commonwealth to provide them with skills for some of the state’s most in-demand jobs.
Participating PASSHE universities in this initial phase are Commonwealth (Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, Mansfield), East Stroudsburg, Indiana, Kutztown, PennWest (California, Clarion, Edinboro), Millersville, Shippensburg and Slippery Rock.
“PASSHE is proud to partner with Google to provide students with the knowledge and skills for in-demand jobs and support the strong workforce that Pennsylvania needs,” said Cynthia Shapira, PASSHE Board of Governors Chairwoman. “Offering Google Career Certificates along with our own undergraduate courses prepares students with the comprehensive education and specific skills that employers want. Additionally, non-students can prepare for entry-level jobs with the option to continue earning more advanced credentials or pursue a four-year degree.”
“Google is committed to helping people develop the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly digital economy. We’re excited to introduce the Google Career Certificate program to thousands of students and workers through our partnership with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education,” said Mark Isakowitz, Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Policy. “We appreciate Governor Shapiro’s commitment to offering more pathways to great careers in Pennsylvania and we are glad to do our part. This initiative will create more economic opportunity and help more Pennsylvanians access in-demand, well-paying jobs across the state.”
Google employees developed the Google Career Certificates to support skilling for in-demand fields. The program includes an employer consortium of over 150 companies — including Pennsylvania-based companies such as SAP, Expedient, the Project Management Institute, CMI Media Group, and Google — that hire talent trained in the certificate fields. Over 200,000 people have graduated from the program in the U.S., and 75% report a positive career impact, such as a new job, higher pay, or a promotion, within six months of completion.
“We’re going to try and emulate this not just at PASSHE schools but in other schools all across Pennsylvania,” said Shapiro. “We’re going to continue to value a skills-based approach to job creation here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We’re going to continue to respect people no matter what degree they have attained, no matter what certificate they have, but focus on the skills that they have the know-how they bring into the conversation, and their willingness to be part of crafting Pennsylvania’s future.”
Pennsylvania residents who are not enrolled at a PASSHE university can also access the certificates at nonprofit organizations throughout the state, including the YWCA, Family Promise, Raices Cyber Org, and more.