Google announces tools and training for military spouses and veterans
By RACHAEL RILEY | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. | Published: May 11, 2019
(Tribune News Service) — Growing up as a military child and later marrying a spouse who served in the military for 21 years, Fayetteville resident Tianna Dean adapted.
As a labor and delivery nurse, Dean would sometimes encounter challenges associated with finding a nursing job in her specialized field or transferring her certifications to different states.
Once her husband retired from the military in 2017, the couple decided to move toward the entrepreneurship route, opening a custom farmhouse furniture and home decor store.
Dean was one of several military spouses on Friday, which was National Military Spouse Appreciation Day, who attended a Grow with Google Workshop.
At the workshop, Google officials and partnering organizations announced new tools, training workshops and scholarships that will help military spouses maintain flexible careers in the midst of frequent moves.
"Military spouses have unique skill sets that we know about in our community, but the world doesn't know about," Dean said. "And Google has a voice that everybody in the world listens to."
The Grow With Google Initiative provides tools and resources to support work and employment opportunities, said Lilyn Hester, Google's head of Southeast External Affairs and Government Relations, who also grew up as a military child.
As an extension of that initiative, Google developed tools and resources for military spouses to ensure "they can build flexible, meaningful careers despite all of their frequent moves" or allow them to work remotely, Hester said.
Those tools include:
• A job search application that creates a custom "work from home," search filter for users or military spouses who work from home.
• Applied Digital Skills, a free online digital skills training program, released a new lesson, "Connect and Collaborate from Anywhere with Digital Tools" to teach remote workers tools to succeed in the digital office.
• The Primer platform or Grow with Google's app for small businesses and job seekers that features lessons on how to work remotely.
The chapter-based nonprofit Blue Star Families, which works with service members of all branches, transitioning veterans and their families, will also host Grow With Google digital training workshops such as the one held Friday in Fayetteville through its partnership.
Dean said she learned through the workshop that she could customize her Google business profile to state that it is a veteran-owned business and to make it searchable nationwide.
Google's philanthropic organization, Google.org, is also providing 1,500 scholarships to military spouses, veterans and transitioning military personnel to provide professional information and technology support certificates offered through the the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.
Rep. Marvin Lucas, whose 42nd district includes Cumberland and Harnett counties, said Friday's announcement helps "level the playing field," as he cited a Google analysis that estimates 16 percent of military spouses are unemployed.