Jackson State University joins Grow with Google’s HBCU Career Readiness Program to train 100,000 Black College Students In Digital Skills by 2025

Jackson State University is joining the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program, an initiative helping Black college students at over 30 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) prepare for the workforce through digital skills training and career workshops. 

Through a $3 million investment in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the program will train 100,000 Black college students by 2025.

“Jackson State University is about producing talent to meet the needs of an evolving society, and our partnership with Google is a reflection of this,” said Thomas K. Hudson, J.D., president of JSU. “An important part of our mission, as an institution of higher learning, is adding to the continuum of workforce development and equipping our students to address emerging technologies to improve the world around us.”

Lashanda W. Jordan, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Career Services Center at JSU, which is collaborating with the College of Science, Engineering and Technology to provide this opportunity to students.  

“The Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness program will offer our students a competitive edge in obtaining additional knowledge and skills in technology that will enhance their chances of finding internships and career opportunities in the ever-growing digital and technological fields,” said Jordan. 

Jacqueline M. Jackson, Ph.D., interim department chair in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science, shared that the program provides students access to additional curriculum, workshops and resources that will assist them in the development of professional, technical and soft skills.

“Students who participate in the program will complete self-assessments, meet with a career counselor to explore career options and develop a career plan, build a personal brand and a professional network, and participate in activities to enhance their behavioral and technical mock interviewing skills,” said Jackson. 

U.S. Rep Bennie Thompson said that in the 21st-century economy, digital skills training can help distinguish job seekers from others.  “I’m pleased to see Jackson State University join Google’s Career Readiness program, which provides HBCUs with the resources, digital skills training, and career support students need to thrive,” he said.  

TMCF—the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community—has a track record of successfully connecting HBCU students with scholarships, training and jobs as they navigate college and careers. Its long history of on-the-ground work ensures the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program is tailored to meet student needs. 

“A central part of the mission of TMCF is to prepare the next generation of workforce talent. Our partnership with Google enables this mission and ensures students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities are positioned to compete for meaningful careers,” said Harry L. Williams, Ed.D, president and CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Starting in 2020, the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program provides HBCU career centers with funding and a semester-long in-person and online digital skills program. The program combines existing Grow with Google workshops with custom job seeker content for Black students, including design thinking, project management, and professional brand building. TMCF, which contributes to the program’s design, works with HBCU career centers to onboard the program. 

Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program builds on Google’s ongoing investments in HBCU students and commitment to creating pathways to tech.  The company also recently announced a $6 million investment in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and United Negro College Fund (UNCF), building on the momentum of their $50 million grant to 10 HBCUs in 2021. Since 2013, the Google In Residenceprogram has placed Google software engineers at HBCUs and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) as faculty. The company also hosts Tech Exchange, a virtual student exchange program that teaches HBCU and HSU students applied computer science courses

“Every student should have the opportunity to learn digital skills for today’s in-demand jobs,” said Tia McLaurin, community engagement manager, Google. “We’re proud to work with Thurgood Marshall College Fund to bring the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program to Jackson State University to help more students prepare for the workforce and thrive as they start their careers.”