Last week Facebook announced its pledge to train 1 million business owners in the United States in a bid to equip more people with the digital skills to compete in the workplace. 

Facebook wants to help people gain the skills to be able to compete in the modern workplace, and is working towards teaching them the skills that will help them do so. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that he wants to make it easier for people to find jobs and grow their businesses, but that can’t be done with the current skilled labour shortage in America, which is predicted to create 85.2 million unfilled jobs by 2030. Committed reversing “the skills gap,” Facebook is giving people and businesses the tools they need to make it in an “increasingly digital economy.”

One of the ways is by expanding its in-person programs and creating more local partnerships to close “the digital skills gap.” By developing local partnerships across the US, Facebook is able to “create free training for skills like coding, digital marketing, and more.” Also, through programs like Facebook Community Boost, which was announced last November and is now expanding to 50 US cities by the end of 2018, Facebook has partnered with and trained more than 60 organizations in twelve US cities. By the end of 2018, Facebook plans to team up with 20 community colleges to offer digital marketing training.

Similar initiatives with Central New Mexico Community College and Des Moines Areas Community College were announced recently. The new initiative in Boston with Bunker Hill Community College and Roxbury Community College are two more examples.

Facebook says it has started to see “encouraging results” from the programs so far. For example, the company has partnered with Grand Circus in Michigan “to train 3,000 people in digital marketing and coding over the next two years.” Facebook has already trained 16 local organizations and has started to run free workshops for hundreds of people. 85% of the graduates of the first bootcamp have been able to find a new job or one that pays better.

Grand Circus’ next 12-week bootcamp will be kicking off in July 2018.

But that’s not all. Facebook says that over 160,000 small businesses in the US have been trained using its Blueprint eLearning platform after partnering up with associations like Small Business Administration, America’s Small Business Development Centers and National Small Business Association. The associations offer free “in-person local training events” using Blueprint. By 2020, Facebook plans to ramp up efforts to train an additional 250,000 small businesses.

Finally, in the fall of 2018, Facebook will be launching the “Learn with Facebook” free online training resource. Users in the United States can sign-up here to be notified when the platform is live for them.

Read next: Facebook’s Community Boost Program For SMBs About To Begin In The US


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