With the pandemic devastating many job sectors, recovery has been difficult and many businesses have shut their doors. In Alabama, rural areas are already at a disadvantage for job opportunities for workers. Unfortunately, this means that some people living in rural areas seeking employment are forced to move away from where they grew up, taking their skills and education with them. More needs to be done. Factors such as a lack of proper broadband or less investment in certain areas are inhibiting. Recently, Google has awarded a grant creating local initiatives in rural Alabama, that will help to support positive results.
Google Grant Recipient
This grant is being awarded to a nonprofit organization called Rural Local Initiatives Support Corp. to create an Alabama chapter. The Rural Local Initiatives Support Corp is a long-standing organization focusing on building opportunities for communities.
“With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families.”https://www.lisc.org/
The organization points to several reasons that it is so focused on building up rural communities.
Some of its reasons include:
- Rural America is the primary provider of most of the United States’ food, water, and fuel, which are critical to everything.
- 46 million people live in rural areas of the United States.
- 25% of people living in rural America are veterans.
- 75% of the land mass in the United States is rural.
Moreover, the organization points to challenges that uniquely affect rural areas:
- Many people living in rural communities struggle with lack of access to affordable housing.
- Lack of access to hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
- Limited job opportunities and limited access to education.
- Many areas lack access to proper internet connection.
What Will This Grant Do?
According to Google, this new chapter, called Google Alabama Rural Works P3 Cohort, will try to help improve things. The company spoke on how it will work to identify and train a diverse workforce, with a focus on underrepresented communities.
Here’s what Caitlin Cain, LISC vice president and rural director, had to say on this initiative funding: “Rural communities across the country face unique hurdles in finding solutions to workforce challenges,” Cain said. “And, with the demand for skilled talent in emerging technologies continuing to increase, the importance of preparing and up-skilling the labor pool is critical.”
Google has already had a major presence in Jackson County, North Alabama. The technology giant started building a $600 million data center in 2015 which became fully operational three years later. Additionally, Google has provided more than $600,000 to organizations in Jackson County and throughout North Alabama since 2017.
Some more specific details:
This cohort will utilize Northeast Alabama Community College as a hub to provide short-term career technical tracks to supplement the needs of Google’s workforce in the region. Through this, the school will provide support services such as education and social services to assist women and BIPOC populations into high-demand careers. Some of these careers include:
- Certified Production Technician
- Engineering Technician
- Industrial Systems Technology
Hopefully, this all helps to improve opportunities for the people in these areas.
There are many grants currently available for conservation to nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses within the USA and Canada. For more information, you can also visit the GrantWatch FAQ page. We wish you the best of luck with your grant-seeking!