CHEYENNE – Google on Wednesday announced that it is coming to Cheyenne as part of the tech company’s “Grow with Google” initiative.

The initiative aims to help create economic opportunity in communities across the United States by training Americans on free Google tools and resources designed to help them find the jobs they want, advance their careers and grow their businesses.

Google will kickstart this work locally by hosting a free, one-day event Aug. 28 from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Laramie County Library, 2200 Pioneer Ave., to help job seekers, small business owners, students, educators and entrepreneurs improve their digital skills.

”With breathtaking national parks, unique wildlife and strong mining and tourism industries, it is no wonder why so many residents in the Cowboy State are proud to call Wyoming home,” said Erica Swanson, Google’s Head of Community Engagement. “By bringing the ‘Grow with Google’ tour to the state, we are making a commitment to help develop a skilled workforce that can meet the needs of Wyoming’s growing economy.”

In recognition that libraries have become centers for digital skills learning, “Grow with Google” plans to visit libraries in every state, partnering with them to deliver digital skills trainings directly to community job seekers and small businesses. According to the American Library Association, nearly three-quarters of public libraries assist their patrons with job applications and interviewing skills, 90% help their patrons learn basic digital skills, and just under half provide access and assistance to entrepreneurs looking to start a business of their own.

”Digital skills are critical for both employees and employers in our 21st century economy,” said Jeff Collins, deputy director of public service for the Laramie County Library. “The chance to provide our community with access to digital technology and education is one of the many reasons why we’re excited to partner with Google to bring a ‘Grow with Google’ event to Laramie County. This partnership and its ensuing opportunities will work in support of the library’s mission to encourage and support lifelong learning and adventure.”

Throughout the day, Google staff will teach a variety of hands-on workshops aimed to provide local businesses and residents with tools and resources to find the jobs they want, advance their careers and grow their businesses. Local nonprofits – libraries, government agencies, educational institutions and more – will also be invited to join the “Grow with Google” partner program and receive training on the initiatives free tools and curriculum so that they can continue to share resources with their patrons and customers. Attendees are welcome to drop in for a few sessions or stay all day and, outside of the specific workshops, can sign up for one-on-one 20 minute training sessions with Google staff.

Google is partnering with community organizations to spread the word about the events. Following the “Grow with Google” event, Google will explore ongoing partnership opportunities with area organizations to help with job training and developing digital skills.

Specifically, “Grow with Google” aims to help address the skills gap by preparing Americans for middle-skill jobs, positions that require some skills but not four year degrees. According to the National Middle Skills Initiative, middle skills jobs account for 58% of Wyoming’s labor force. A recent study by Burning Glass and Capital One found that more than eight in 10 middle-skill jobs require digital skills. Overall, middle-skill jobs average $20 per hour.

In their 2018 Economic Impact Report, Google announced that 1,900 businesses in Wyoming generated $203 million in economic activity by using Google’s search and advertising tools. The full report details Google’s economic impact state-by-state, and features the stories of businesses fueling that growth, creating job opportunities, and transforming their communities.

To learn more about the free event and to register, visit g.co/GrowWyoming. Space will be limited, so register in advance.

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