Press release: Thanks Google.org!

YWCA of the University of Illinois Receives Grant from Google.org to Provide Free Digital Skills Training


Champaign, IL, July 13th, 2020 –YWCA of the University of Illinois has received a grant to implement a free digital skills and workforce development training, the Strive Program, for women in the local Champaign-Urbana community as part of a Google.org partnership with YWCA USA. YWCA of the University of Illinois is proud to be a member of the inaugural cohort of five YWCA locations around the country.


As part of YWCA of the University of Illinois’s ongoing mission to eliminate racism and empower women, the Strive Program will provide free digital skills and workforce development training to traditionally underserved populations, such as low-wage workers and people who experienced interruptions in their schooling. YWCA will couple this programming with technology access, case management, flexible schedules, peer mentoring, and online learning to reduce barriers to participation and ensure each participant’s success.


"Providing pathways for women to receive the necessary workforce training and digital skills to access competitive jobs in the digital economy is more important now than ever," said Jacquelline Fuller, President of Google.org.


“YWCA is thrilled to partner with Google.org as we work to create innovative approaches to workforce development and forge new ways to bring the future of work and skills development to women and communities of color across the country,” added Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO, YWCA USA.

“The ‘digital divide’ means people without access to technology and digital skills are at a real disadvantage in today’s workforce. We aim to change that,” enthused Andrea Rundell, Executive Director, YWCA of the University of Illinois. YWCA of the University of Illinois is excited to provide this investment in our local economy and address the employment needs of underserved women in Champaign-Urbana.”

STRIVE is a free workforce development program, created by YWCA McLean County (Bloomington, IL), with a goal of increasing vocational opportunities for women through digital skills training. The program will launch in Champaign-Urbana in Fall 2020 and enroll up to 10 women per six-month session. For more information, please email denise@ywcauofi.org.


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About Google.org

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 in four key areas: education, economic opportunity, inclusion and crisis response.


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eliminating racism, empowering women

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