- As part of its plan to train 1 million people in the U.S. by 2020, Facebook has partnered with the National Urban League to provide digital skills training to small businesses and non-profits.
- Building on its existing partnership with the organization that serves the St. Louis and Houston areas, Facebook is expanding its reach to 13 Urban League locations around the country to provide training to underserved communities. The expansion will include Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Vegas, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., beginning in 2019.
- The National Urban League will also be joining Facebook in an advisory capacity, working with it to help create opportunities for small businesses and underserved communities to use technology to create growth and wealth.
The skills shortage, particularly in the tech space, is being acutely felt by employers. For digital platforms to thrive, upskilling can be vital. For companies like Facebook, the promise of training will not only boost their user base, with the potential for monetization, it promises to reskill U.S. workers, many of whom have been displaced because of digitization.
Learning and development professionals are working diligently to upskill employees and even non-employees, but the sheer volume of demand for digital skills creates a challenge. Partnerships between tech giants, NGOs, community organizations and government are scrambling to fill the void, particularly with women and even young girls. A special focus on underserved communities and learners is also emerging as businesses look to create a reliable applicant pool.
Whether it’s training non-employees who will utilize company products, become brand ambassadors for companies or simply corporate social responsibility, the trend to provide learning free of charge is taking hold. And as employers face tighter immigration policies, an opioid crisis and low unemployment, many companies are looking at the larger picture, hoping to future-proof their organizations by upskilling their communities.