By Leah Belsky, Chief Enterprise Officer, Coursera
While the recession has nearly ended for high-wage workers, job losses persist for low-wage workers. To support learners most impacted by the pandemic’s economic downturn, we have joined forces with Goodwill®, the leading workforce provider in North America, as well as industry partner Facebook. Together, we are rolling out thousands of scholarships to help learners develop in-demand digital skills and get back to work.
As part of Goodwill’s Rising Together™ coalition, Coursera and Goodwill will provide 2,000 scholarships to learners in need, including people impacted by the criminal justice system, veterans, and underserved high school students. Scholarship recipients will have free access to more than 5,000 courses as well as hands-on projects and Professional Certificates that teach job-relevant business, technology, and data science skills.
“Our society is at a critical crossroads on our journey to build a resilient workforce and economic mobility for all Americans,” said Steven C. Preston, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “The need for digital skills is more urgent than ever. Our partnership with Coursera and Facebook represents one critical step in closing the increasingly widening skills gap so that thousands of job seekers, particularly people of color and women, have access to continuous upskilling and learning opportunities so they can both obtain jobs and build their careers.”
Additionally, Coursera industry partner Facebook is offering 6,000 scholarships for its entry-level Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate through its community and learning platform Facebook Elevate. The scholarships are part of Facebook Elevate’s commitment to diversity and are designed to help Black learners enter the growing field of social media marketing. Entry-level Professional Certificates on Coursera, such as Facebook’s social media marketing program, help learners of all work and educational backgrounds enter well-paying, high-growth careers in just a few months.
“Companies across the globe are rapidly changing and seeking diverse talent with digital skills. The new Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate Program is a helpful tool for job seekers to grow their digital skills and prepare for the opportunities of tomorrow,” said Judy Toland, vice president and head of scaled solutions, global business marketing at Facebook.
The scholarships from Coursera and Facebook Elevate will be distributed through Goodwill workforce development programs, which provide job training and employment services, including career planning, resume guidance, and interview prep, as well as wrap-around supports, such as access to mentoring, child care, and transportation. For years, Goodwill has fostered learner success through its on-the-ground support for its communities. Although Goodwill’s physical job centers were—and some still are—impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and closures, it has continued supporting learners virtually, including using fully online career resources on Coursera.
Accessible, job-focused learning programs, such as entry-level Professional Certificates, can help workers find good employment, earn a living wage, and contribute to the economic recovery in their own neighborhoods. We’re honored to partner with Goodwill and Facebook Elevate to equip learners of all backgrounds with the digital skills that unlock greater opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities.