Burns encouraging PA Highlands, Admiral Perry, Greater Johnstown CTC to offer Google Career Certificates to make more job opportunities available

HARRISBURG, Nov. 27 – Now that schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education have partnered with Google to make the technology company’s Career Certificates available to students and the public to help them secure good-paying jobs, state Rep. Frank Burns said he wants to take it a step further.

He is proposing that Penn Highlands Community College, Admiral Perry Vo-Tech and Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center sign up with Google to incorporate these certificate programs into their offerings and has sent a letter to the schools encouraging just that.

“The governor has touted this public-private partnership as a way to connect classroom learning to job-ready skills development at the university level,” said Burns, D-Cambria. “But I think we need to expand this even more to give students other opportunities to learn the skills needed for good-paying jobs without the need for a college education.

“Silicon Valley companies are having trouble filling jobs and many of them are remote-capable. People can live in places like Cambria County and work for Google, Microsoft and others, but we need to train a workforce for these tech jobs,” he said.

“This is a way to provide a unique opportunity for people who want to stay in the area and make a decent living. Our institutions need to build relationships with these companies to see how our students can benefit, while solving some of area’s workforce issues. I plan to meet with Silicon Valley companies and U.S. Congressman Ro Khanna from California to discuss our region’s potential and how his connections can help local students.”

Burns got to know Khanna a few years ago when Khanna’s staff reached out to him about their common interest in reviving the U.S. steel industry and bringing back good-paying, family-sustaining jobs. Khanna also was the one who first told Burns about this Google Career Certificate program.

Google Career Certificates are professional credentials that individuals can earn in the cybersecurity, data analytics, digital marketing and e-commerce, IT support, project management and UX design fields.

“I’m always looking for ways to create good, family-sustaining jobs that will boost our local economy,” Burns said. “This should be another tool in our region’s toolbox for preparing a workforce for tomorrow’s jobs, and we need to access it, so we can continue to build a trained workforce pipeline.”