Black Belt Community Foundation Joins Google Program to Provide Digital Skills Training for People Affected by Incarceration

Selma, AL, November 24, 2022 –(– The Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) announced it is partnering with Google to provide digital skills programs to enhance economic opportunities for people affected by confinement. In June, Google shared its $4 million investment in a new fund that aims to expand its justice reform work. More than 500 non-profit organizations across the country have applied for support from the fund, and BBCF is one of the recipients selected by Google based on its history of helping people affected by incarceration receive training, career resources and job-finding support.

Each year, more than 600,000 Americans leave prison and face higher unemployment rates than the US average. The lack of technology in prison creates further barriers to employment as digital skills become increasingly important in today’s job market. BBCF will use the new funding to integrate Google’s digital skills curriculum into existing programming, with the aim of helping people affected by incarceration learn skills for today’s jobs.

“BBCF has always been committed to ensuring that all Black Belt residents have the opportunity to participate fully in the growth and well-being of their communities. When recently incarcerated people return home, it is important that they have easy access to resources and opportunities for their recovery journey. What is good for their own well-being and that of their community is the same.” said BBCF chairman, Felecia Lucky.

“As we work to create a more inclusive economy, we are committed to helping people affected by incarceration access training for today’s jobs,” said Tia McLaurin, Senior Manager, Grow with Google. “We are proud to work with great partners to help more people qualify for great jobs and create new beginnings for themselves and their families.”

Selected organizations use Google’s digital skills curriculum co-created with five nonprofits: The Last Mile, Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), Defy Ventures, Fortune Society, and The Ladies of Hope Ministries. The program’s training includes five learning paths that Google developed with nonprofit partners: (1) Getting Started with the Basics, (2) Job Search, (3) Job Readiness, (4) Online Safety, and (5) “Next Step” Job Readiness Skills. Classes range from fundamental digital skills, such as applying online and creating a CV, to more advanced topics such as entrepreneurship and corporate budgeting. Partners will integrate this curriculum into their existing programs to help people develop skills that will help them find a job or start a business.

Since its launch in April 2021, the Grow with Google program has helped more than 10,000 people affected by incarceration gain digital skills. Of the participants surveyed, 85% said they felt better prepared for their future, and more than 75% reported being employed or enrolled as a student at the end of the program. To date, Google has given more than $48 million in grants and spent 50,000 pro bono hours on criminal justice reform. To learn more about how Google is expanding access to digital skills training to support formerly incarcerated individuals, visit

About the Black Belt Community Foundation

Over the past eighteen years, the BBCF has worked tirelessly to help Alabama’s most challenged region realize its potential. BBCF has awarded more than $6 million in grants to support more than 500 community-led initiatives across BBCF’s 12-county Black Belt service area. BBCF was established in 2004 to support local efforts that contribute to the strength, innovation and success of all people and communities in the region.,, Instagram, YouTube channel or Twitter.

About Growing with Google
Grow with Google started in 2017 to help Americans grow their skills, careers and businesses. It provides training, tools and expertise to help small business owners, veterans and military families, job seekers and students, educators, startups and developers. Since its inception, Grow with Google has helped more than nine million Americans develop new skills. Grow with Google has a network of more than 8,500 partner organizations such as libraries, schools, small business development centers, chambers of commerce, and non-profit organizations helping people from coast to coast.

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