Facebook recently pledged to train 1 million U.S. business owners and equip more people with the digital skills they need to compete in today’s workplace. This aligns with CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s pledge to make it easier for people to find jobs and grow businesses. According to recent predictions, the skilled labor shortage in America could create 85.2 million unfilled jobs by 2030. Facebook is committed to helping reverse the skills gap in America by giving individuals and companies the tools they need to flourish in an increasingly digital economy.
Local business owners in the U.S. indicate that digital and social media expertise are important both to running their businesses and as a consideration when hiring. In fact, a lot of business owners value a candidate’s digital skills above where they went to school.
And while people recognize these skills are important, free resources are not easy to find. Facebook wants to change that by working side by side with communities to provide more free in-person training, mentorship and online courses. Here are some Facebook resources available today and a view of what else is on the horizon.
Partnering with local communities
Last November, Facebook announced a new digital training program, Facebook Community Boost, which will now expand to visit 50 U.S. cities by the end of 2018, including a stop in Phoenix on July 9-10, 2018. Facebook has also partnered with, and trained, more than 40 organizations in eight U.S. cities to date. By the end of the year, Facebook also plans to establish new local partnerships, which includes teaming up with 20 community colleges to offer free digital marketing training.
Facebook is seeing encouraging results from the programs that have launched. In Michigan, for example, the social media company partnered with Grand Circus to train 3,000 people in digital marketing and coding over the next two years. To date, Facebook has trained 15 local organizations and have started running free workshops for hundreds of people across the state. And 85 percent of the first coding boot camp graduates have either found a new or better paying job. Grand Circus’ new 10-week boot camp will kick off in July 2018.
More online curriculum and a new online e-learning platform
Small and local businesses (and even big brands) ask Facebook for more training on how to use Facebook and Instagram to build and grow their businesses. In March 2015, Facebook Blueprint was launched, which includes free eLearning available in 14 different languages, designed to do just that. With nearly 80 online courses, Blueprint allows people to learn about Facebook and Instagram marketing at their own pace. Plus, the Blueprint team works with local associations such as the Small Business Administration, America’s Small Business Development Centers and National Small Business Association to offer free in-person local training events leveraging Blueprint curriculum. So far, more than 160,000 U.S. small businesses have been trained using Blueprint, and by 2020 Facebook plans to train an additional 250,000.
In the early fall of 2018, Learn with Facebook, a free online training resource to equip people with the essential skills they need to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving digital economy, will launch. This platform will provide access to new digital skills to people across skill levels and interests; whether you’re a student wanting to learn digital marketing skills, a job-seeker wanting to bolster your CV, a seasoned professional looking to retrain, or a budding entrepreneur wanting to turn an idea into a reality, Facebook will have tools available to help you reach your goals.
To learn more about Facebook’s investments in creating free resources and tools to train the U.S. workforce, visit Facebook.com/boosttogether.