The MWI Workforce Institute a division of M.E.N.S. Wear, Inc. Joins Google Program to Offer Digital Skills Training for People Impacted by Incarceration
In June, Google announced an initiative to help people impacted by incarceration gain digital skills through strategic partnerships and programming.
The MWI Workforce Institute, a division of M.E.N.S. Wear, Inc. announced it’s working with Google to provide digital skills programs to advance economic opportunity for people impacted by incarceration. In June, Google shared its investing $4 million toward a new fund that aims to expand its justice reform work. Over 500 nonprofit organizations across the country applied to receive support from the fund, and the MWI Workforce Institute is one of the recipients selected by Google based on its history of helping people who have been impacted by incarceration receive training, career resources, and job placement support.
More than 600,000 Americans leave incarceration each year and face higher jobless rates than the U.S. average. The lack of technology in prison creates further barriers to employment, as digital skills are increasingly essential in the current job market. The MWI Workforce Institute will use the new funding to integrate Google’s digital skills curriculum into its existing programming, with the goal of helping people impacted by incarceration learn skills for today’s jobs. The MWI Workforce Institute will also work alongside community partners, court systems and faith-based organizations to host virtual and in-person digital skills training workshops.
“As a partner of Grow with Google, we can seamlessly upskill learners with key digital skills and career certificates that will help them start and grow their careers and become major contributors to the workforce. Google has navigated an opportunity for nonprofit organizations to provide digital skills training to justice impacted individuals and communities that far exceeds anything we have seen before In addition, we now also have the capacity to equip any learner with applied digital skills to grow their business,” says Angelia O’Neal, founder of the MWI Workforce Institute, a division of M.E.N.S. Wear, Inc.
“As we work to create a more inclusive economy, we’re committed to helping people impacted by incarceration access training for today’s jobs,” said Tia McLaurin, Senior Manager, Grow with Google. “We’re proud to work with outstanding partners to ensure more people can qualify for great jobs and create a new beginning for themselves and their families.”
The selected organizations will use Google digital skills curriculum that was co-curated with five nonprofits — The Last Mile, Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), Defy Ventures, Fortune Society and The Ladies of Hope Ministries.The program’s training includes five learning paths that Google developed in collaboration with nonprofit partners: (1) Getting Started with the Basics, (2) Job Search, (3) Job Readiness, (4) Online Safety, and (5) “Next Step” Job Readiness Skills. Lessons vary from fundamental digital skills such as how to apply for jobs online and create a resumé, to more advanced topics including entrepreneurship and business budgeting. Partners will integrate this curriculum into their existing programs to help people develop skills that will help them get a job or start a business.
Since launching in April 2021, Grow with Google’s program has helped more than 10,000 people impacted by incarceration obtain digital skills. Out of participants surveyed, 85% said that they felt more prepared for their future, and over 75% reported they had a job or were enrolled as a student by the end of the program. To date, Google has given over $48 million in Google.org grants and committed 50,000 pro bono hours to advance criminal justice reform. Learn more about how Google is expanding access to digital skills training to support individuals who were formerly incarcerated at grow.google/justice-impacted.
About The MWI Workforce Institute
The mission of the MWI Workforce Institute is to serve as a national virtual hub for digital skills training for learners. We offer essential workforce readiness training, personal & social development training, and wrap-around supportive services that help learners become (1) confident, positive role models, (2) pioneers in building strong families and communities, and (3) major contributors to the U.S. economy.
About Grow with Google
Grow with Google was started in 2017 to help Americans grow their skills, careers and businesses. It provides training, tools and expertise to help small business owners, veterans and military families, jobseekers and students, educators, startups and developers. Since Grow with Google’s inception, it has helped more than nine million Americans develop new skills. Grow with Google has a network of more than 8,500 partner organizations like libraries, schools, small business development centers, chambers of commerce and nonprofits to help people coast-to-coast.
Click here for the news release.