Grow with Google is coming to New London

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New London — Google announced last week that trainers will be visiting libraries in New London, New Haven and Hartford in February for free, daylong digital skills training sessions.

They are geared toward "job seekers, small business owners, students, educators and entrepreneurs to improve their digital skills," according to a news release from Google.

New London Public Library is hosting a session from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 15.

"We answered a record high number of job-related questions [and] technology-related questions, so when Google contacted us, we really wanted them here," said Madhu Gupta, executive director of the library.

The tour is part of Grow with Google, the company's economic development initiative. Launched in 2017, the program was "born out of the idea that digital skills and technology is increasingly important if you want to grow your business, if you want to find a new job, if you want to take your career to the next level," Google spokesperson Peter Schottenfels said.

The event in New London will feature four sessions: Digital Skills for Your Community at 9 a.m., Get Found on Search and Maps at 11 a.m., Reach Customers Online with Google at 1 p.m., and Get Started with Email, Spreadsheets and Presentations at 3 p.m.

This will include tips on search engine optimization and online marketing. Attendees also can sign up for one-on-one sessions with Google staff.

Schottenfels said the first session will help librarians and nonprofit organizers teach how to do trainings on their own time.

Gupta feels the first session will be especially helpful to the community, considering the American Job Center's move from New London to Montville. Talking about the final session, she noted it's surprising how many people don't have email addresses, but "these days nobody accepts a hard copy in front of you."

"Connecticut is one of our country's most historic centers of innovation, entrepreneurship and manufacturing," Erica Swanson, Google's head of community engagement, said in the news release. "By bringing the 'Grow with Google' tour to the state, we are making a commitment to help develop a skilled workforce that can meet the needs of the Constitution State's growing economy."

Google's 2017 Economic Impact Report found that 14,000 Connecticut businesses generated $4.13 billion in economic activity through Google's tools.

Schottenfels said Connecticut will be the program's second state this year, after the kickoff in Pennsylvania next week. The goal is to make it to all 50 states.

To register for the event, visit bit.ly/Google_NL.

e.moser@theday.com

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