Mountain View, Calif. – Today, Google.org announced a $10 million grant to AARP Foundation to provide technology and digital skills training to 25,000 people with low income age 50 and older, with a focus on women and people of color. The trainings will help increase older adults’ economic security and social connections with workshops focused on digital essentials to help them find and secure jobs, change careers, or explore entrepreneurship.
AARP Foundation, in collaboration with Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP, will provide programs and services that offer older adults foundational online workplace skills such as how to use video conferencing, information security, and office productivity software; online job readiness and networking tools; and learning tools for aspiring entrepreneurs, such as social media marketing, crowdfunding, mobile payment services, and graphic design.
The programs will roll out over the next two years in eight states: Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. AARP Foundation and OATS will develop the trainings that will be implemented through community organization partners and OATS’ Senior Planet instructors. Trainings will begin in March 2022. AARP Foundation will evaluate the economic impact of the initiative and create a scalable model to help expand the program nationally.
“Google values its employees of all ages and we recognize that older adults are an invaluable asset to our multigenerational workforce and the American economy,” said Kent Walker, President for Global Affairs at Google. “By supporting AARP Foundation to implement this new digital skill training program, we hope to help older adults, especially those from vulnerable communities who have not had access to technological resources in the past, plan for their future.”
This grant funding builds upon Google's historical support for digital skilling through Grow with Google, the company's initiative which helps people grow their skills, careers and businesses through free tools and training.
More than 37 million adults over 50, or 1 in 3, either live in or near poverty. During the pandemic, millions of older adults experienced further financial hardship as they lost jobs or income, while demand for digital skills in the labor market also accelerated.
“This transformational grant will enable older adults living with low income to obtain the digital confidence and skills they need to increase their long-term financial stability, especially for those who have been most affected by systemic racism and discrimination,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President, AARP Foundation. “Offering vulnerable older adults critical technology skills training can further close the digital divide, help build economic security and resilience and help people live independently as they age.”
According to the Urban Institute, older workers with more digital skills have significantly higher earnings than those with less and are better positioned to compete for the jobs of the future. However, 2 in 5 adults 50-plus feel technology is not inclusive, nor designed for people of all ages, as reported in AARP’s 2022 Tech Trends Report. What’s more, over 22 million Americans age 65+ still lack wireline broadband access at home, keeping them disconnected from critical online resources like telehealth, social support and communications, according to OATS’ Aging Connected report.
For more information about AARP Foundation’s efforts to increase economic security for older adults through digital skills training, visit www.aarpfoundation.org/digitalskillsready.
Google.org, Google's philanthropy, supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues and apply scalable, data-driven innovation to solving the world's biggest challenges. We accelerate their progress by connecting them with a unique blend of support that includes funding, products, and technical expertise from Google volunteers. We engage with these believers-turned-doers who make a significant impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change. We want a world that works for everyone—and we believe technology and innovation can move the needle.
About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation works to end senior poverty by helping vulnerable people over 50 build economic opportunity. Our approach emphasizes equitable outcomes for populations that have faced systemic discrimination. As AARP's charitable affiliate, we serve AARP members and nonmembers alike. Through vigorous legal advocacy and evidence-based solutions, and by building supportive community connections, we foster resilience, advance equity and restore hope. To learn more, visit aarpfoundation.org or follow @AARPFoundation on social media.
About OATS from AARP
OATS from AARP helps older adults learn to use and leverage technology to transform their lives and their communities. Through its flagship program, Senior Planet, OATS works closely with older adults to create extraordinary experiences in-person and online. As one of AARP's charitable affiliates, the mission of OATS from AARP is “to harness the power of technology to change the way we age.” To learn more, visit www.oats.org or follow @OlderAdultsTech on social media.
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