Google and Walmart Award $5 Million Grant to Innovators In Workforce Development

Google is partnering with Walmart to award a $5 million grant to three leading nonprofit organizations testing solutions in building and refining skill sets in the American workforce and matching those skills to roles.

The Drucker Institute, Opportunity@Work and MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy will be awarded a share of the grant money to help job seekers, workers, and businesses adapt to the evolving workplace.

“We are excited to support the development of this visionary approach to lifelong learning at a community-wide scale,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer at Walmart and president of the Walmart Foundation. “Helping people identify and easily acquire job-relevant skills—and helping employers recognize which prospective employees have the right skills—will unlock meaningful opportunities for advancement for people across the community, and strengthen the businesses that hire them. This is exactly the sort of innovation leading to opportunity that defines Walmart’s approach to workforce development.”

Founded in 2006 and based at the Claremont Graduate University in California, Drucker Institute works to continue the legacy of Peter Drucker, a prominent management consultant, educator, and author who helped improve organizations worldwide providing resources to aid management in nonprofits, government, and corporations.

Along with $500,000 thousand grant money received from Google and Walmart, Drucker is also partnering with IDEO, in the hopes of transforming South Bend, Indiana, into “The City of Lifelong Learning” with an emphasis on helping the most economically disadvantaged.

The system—part digital, part physical—will take what is currently a highly fragmented set of learning resources, identify those that have proven to be most effective, integrate them more efficiently and make them accessible and inviting for the entire South Bend community, regardless of someone’s age, educational level, income or job status. 

MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, which awards $1 million annually to entrepreneurial organizations finding new solutions to job matching, skill-building, income growth and job creation, and financial inclusion. Opportunity@Work will test new solutions to help overlooked talent communicate skills to employers, connect to employment opportunities, and afford skills-based education.