Lisa Gevelber on creating economic opportunities through upskilling - Kathy Varol
Lisa Gevelber
December 8, 2022   |   Episode #: 044

Lisa Gevelber on creating economic opportunities through upskilling

Show Notes:

Lisa Gevelber is the founder and head of Grow with Google, Google’s tech-skilling workforce development initiative. Grow with Google is the company’s $1 Billion initiative to drive economic opportunity for all. Grow with Google offers certification programs that provide job training for in-demand, high-paying careers for people without college degrees; and free digital skills training to middle and high school students and adult job seekers.

Grow with Google also provides free help to small and medium-sized businesses, and has a $175 million Small Business Fund to help minority, female and veteran-owned businesses.

Lisa has worked at Google since 2010. In addition to leading Grow with Google, she is Google’s Chief Marketing Officer for the Americas Region.

In this episode we discuss:

✅ What Grow with Google is and how it’s driving equity
✅ How Grow with Google is connecting their certificate graduates with employers
✅ How you can use Grow with Google to upskill yourself, upskill your employees, or fill open roles

3 episode takeaways (listen to the full episode for a lot more gems!): 

1️⃣ This conversation demonstrated the importance of design thinking when building solutions to complex problems. As Lisa discusses in this episode, Google identified a need for upskilling and retaining people for higher-paying jobs that they could help solve. They identified the most in-demand job areas and created training specifically tailored to those jobs. However, Google also realized they were only suited to solve part of the need, so they partnered with others to develop an ecosystem approach. By collaborating with their partners, they created a holistic solution that has a larger impact than Google could have had on its own. Their partners include employers in need of talent to fill these in-demand jobs. These employers are using Grow with Google to create a hiring pipeline, which is beneficial to the employer and to the individuals that have invested in doing a certificate program. Their partners also include universities that are designing specialization courses that complement the training for specific industries. The lesson here is that there is greater power in collaboration. Don’t try to boil the ocean on your own. Instead, focus on your strengths and pull in others to fill in the missing pieces.

Ask yourself, what is your organization working on right now that would be stronger if you brought in strategic partners?


2️⃣ There are problems that are already here that we know will continue to get worse. These problems include the climate crisis, biodiversity loss,  inequity, and inequality. These problems affect everyone. They threaten our planet and breed social unrest. These are the challenges of our lifetime, and in all honesty, probably the challenges that will face generations to come. Each of these complex challenges has underlying systemic issues that continue to perpetuate the problem. It’s on all of us to work together to identify the underlying systemic issues, and offer up what we, as individuals or organizations, can best contribute to solve them in collaboration with others. Not only is there a moral imperative to do so. The planet is all of our home and there is no planet b. And, as a globally connected world, everyone is our neighbor. What hurts one population will eventually have a ripple effect that reaches everyone’s door. But there’s also an enormous business opportunity to innovate solutions that fix a critical need, resolve the challenges of our lifetime, and create a better future for the next generation.


3️⃣ Look at your industry and your organization. What are the job skills that are most in demand, and do you have a talent pipeline to fill that demand? If not, can you tap into already established resources like Grow with Google to fill your business need, or if no resources exist, can you create one that would benefit your company, future employees, and other industries that need the same skills?


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