invests $2.5M with NPower Canada to upskill youth for the future of work

Feb 06, 2020

Tech giant makes philanthropic investment in Canada, to upskill young Canadians for transformative careers in tech

TORONTO – Today NPower Canada and announced that they have partnered to upskill 1,700 low-income, diverse young adults for transformative careers in information technology. Through this effort is making a $2,500,000 CAD grant to support NPower Canada’s work launching underserved young adults into meaningful and sustainable tech careers.

“This partnership with Google is transformational for NPower Canada in that it allows us to provide vital in-demand skills and opportunities to more barriered youth across Canada,” says NPower Canada CEO Julia Blackburn. “We will be better able to support youth to launch meaningful careers, while also helping to address the tech skills gap and provide companies with the junior-level IT talent they need.”

“We’re investing directly in programs that support digital skills training for all Canadians,” says Sabrina Geremia, VP of Google Canada. “We’re excited to partner with NPower Canada, which has a strong track-record of supporting successful digital careers in IT, and meeting the ongoing demands of Canadian employers.”

NPower Canada will pilot, test and integrate the Google IT Support Professional Certificate and the Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate into its program offerings, providing scholarships, instructional support, and wraparound support for 1,700 learners. This enhancement to NPower Canada’s curriculum further supports individuals in pre-employment programs with the certifications needed to secure their first IT jobs and will also upskill program alumni to advance in their tech careers.

“Every sector of the Canadian economy is being re-shaped by technology and the nature of work is changing,” says Stephen Gardiner, NPower Canada Board Chair. “This investment from Google positions NPower Canada to ensure young workers have the skills and mindset to participate and succeed in the digital economy.”

This grant also supports the expansion of NPower Canada’s programs and impact to Halifax and Vancouver in 2021. Currently NPower Canada operates programs in the Greater Toronto Area and Calgary, delivering a sector-based workforce development program that directly places low-income young adults into meaningful employment by equipping them with the skills required for in-demand technology roles.

While sector-based workforce development has emerged over the past 15 years as a leading evidence-based, outcome-focused approach to employing multi-barriered job seekers in the United States, this model is fairly new and remains rare in Canada. NPower Canada’s unique approach to workforce development has seen 1,398 youth graduate from its programs in the last 5 years, with 80% of graduates securing junior-level IT employment within 6 months, often lifting themselves and their families out of poverty.

NPower Canada

NPower Canada is a charitable organization that launches underserved young adults into meaningful and sustainable careers in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) field. Through consultation with a wide range of employers, NPower Canada’s comprehensive curriculum ensures participants are equipped with the in-demand technical and professional skills most sought after by industry.

NPower Canada has grown from serving 87 low-income youth at one Toronto location during its first full year of operations in 2015 to an anticipated 1,010 low-income young adults in 2020 in the Greater Toronto Area and Calgary. To date, more than 80% of NPower Canada graduates have secured employment and/or enrolled in postsecondary education within 6 months of program completion. Also, 80% of alumni have remained employed at 12, 24 and 36 months post-graduation., 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.