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Social Finance, with support from $100M Google Career Certificates Fund, expands skills training and job placement programs


Finding good jobs is not easy, and it’s especially challenging for the nearly two-thirds of American workers who don’t have a college degree. It raises a good question – what if employers hired for skills, not degrees?

Google Career Certificates is one way to build career skills. The Certificates are available to anyone, with no college degree required. They provide training in high-paying, high-growth jobs in fields like data analytics, IT support, project management and user experience design. 75 percent of graduates report seeing a positive impact on their career within six months – including a raise or a new job. If you’re looking to build job skills, check out the program

We’re excited that Social Finance, a partner in W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Mission Driven Investment portfolio, is managing a new $100 million Google Career Certificates Fund. This Fund aims to engage more than 20,000 people experiencing low wealth situations, and help them realize more than $1 billion in aggregate wage gains over the next decade. That’s a lot of money in people’s pockets, especially for those facing barriers to education and employment. 

Through the Google Career Certificates Fund, participants can access student-friendly financing, enroll in a career training program and repay the cost of tuition – but only if they land jobs in which they earn at least $40,000 each year. They can earn Google Career Certificates (via inaugural training providers Merit America and Year Up). Participants also receive wraparound supports, like career coaching and emergency aid funds, which can address real-life challenges that arise during their training. The program is guided by a Student Bill of Rights, with safeguards like fixed repayment terms, no interest monthly payments of around $100, and downside protection – meaning, that students only pay if they succeed. 

If you care about mission-driven investing, it’s worth taking a look at the Fund’s innovative finance model, which is a natural extension of Social Finance’s work to broaden access to economic opportunities and strengthen pipelines of diverse, talented workers. In 2019, Social Finance launched the Career Impact Bond, a student-friendly financing model that helps people facing barriers to employment – such as low incomes, experiences in the criminal justice systems, immigration status, and more – access quality, industry-recognized career training for in-demand, recession-resilient careers like information technology (IT), clean energy, and health care. Financed by the UP Fund, a $50 million national impact investment fund, Social Finance is also putting the Career Impact Bond to work as a public policy tool through place-based Pay It Forward Funds in several states. 

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Header image by Christina @ on Unsplash


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