The Commerce Public Library has been selected to participate in "Libraries Lead with Digital Skills," a program which will give business owners and entrepreneurs skills to build their digital marketing and businesses skills.

The program is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and the Public Library Association (PLA) and is sponsored by Grow With Google, the tech company’s economic opportunity initiative.

Library manager Angel Abounader says: “The Commerce Public Library is excited to receive and use the funding to deliver a live how-to webinar about Google Primer where local small business owners and entrepreneurs can build their digital marketing and businesses skills. We are also pleased to team with Score of Northeast Georgia who will be helping us share this information with their clients. More details will follow in the coming weeks.”

State Librarian Julie Walker said: “Georgia's libraries have long played a vital and wide-ranging role in the economic and workforce development efforts in our state. We're delighted that Grow with Google is partnering with our libraries to strengthen and expand these efforts, so that even more Georgians know that public libraries are a great resource for support in applying for jobs, starting small businesses, and acquiring the digital skills essential in our global marketplace.”

Nicky Rigg, program manager for Digital Skills outreach at Google, said: “Libraries have long been America’s gathering place for learning. From learning new digital skills for the workplace, to creating a résumé or growing your business online, people are going to libraries as resources for professional growth now more than ever. Grow with Google is excited to support library programs across the country to help ensure that economic opportunity exists for everyone.”

This program is funded by Libraries Lead with Digital Skills, which was created so that local libraries can combine their own program offerings with Grow with Google training materials to offer virtual community workshops or other activities aimed at empowering small businesses to grow online or assisting job seekers to prepare for and find work.

The Grow with Google initiative draws on Google’s 20-year history of building products, platforms and services that help people and businesses grow. Through this initiative, we aim to help everyone across America – those who make up the workforce of today and those who will drive the workforce of tomorrow – access the best of Google’s training and tools to grow their skills, careers, and businesses. Learn more at grow.google.

The Georgia Public Library Service program, Library Initiatives for Funding Technology (LIFT), provided technical assistance to apply for the Grow with Google grants. LIFT partners with public libraries to fund technology initiatives to support libraries as they build on existing programs and expand their services to the public. LIFT staff assist libraries with identifying grant opportunities, aid the application process, and support the management and reporting stages. Since its inception in 2019, LIFT has assisted libraries with successful grant applications totaling $63,992 towards innovative programs and services in their communities.

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