SAN DIEGO — Google CEO Sundar Pichai was in San Diego this week to announce a partnership with the USO that includes enhanced job search features on Google search and an IT training initiative for transitioning military members and active duty spouses.
Now, typing “jobs for veterans” in the Google search bar results in an additional search box for a “military occupation code,” which leads to local civilian job postings that match the skills and training of those military jobs.
Pichai, at a news conference at the new USO headquarters in Liberty Station, said Google was in a unique position to offer transitioning veterans tools to ease a post-military job search, and that military skills were often “lost in translation” when transferring them to a civilian job.
“This is an area where Google’s ability to organize information can help,” he said. “There are 10,000 military job codes out there, yet we lack a way to help recruiters match a veteran’s experience with a civilian need for their skills.”
Google is also making the new military job search function available to job boards, employers and staffing agencies, Pichai said.
Pichai also announced Google would add a badge on search results and on Google Maps to veteran-owned businesses.
Pichai also announced a new $2.5 million grant to the USO to train active duty members and their spouses for entry level IT jobs.
The Google IT Support Professional Certificate can be earned in about eight months, Pichai said, with about eight to 10 hours of work per week.
“It equips you with the skills you need to start a career in IT support in about eight months – no prior experience of college degree necessary,” he said. “We are making all these services available to the spouses of current service members, too. Spouses make it possible for members of the military to do their important work.”
USO President Dr. J.D. Crouch II said the organization’s mission was to keep service members connected when in uniform, but that it was also to help their transition.
“We’ve been around for 77 years, and we’ve been waiting for this partnership with Google,” he said. “This program will provide transitioning service members with in-demand technical skills and transferrable soft skills to kick-start their private sector careers and after their military service concludes.”
Kylee Durant, the USO’s senior director of program development, said Google approached the organization wanting to work with military families. She said she knew any initiative would need to include military spouses.
“As a (military) spouse, I struggled continuing a career after moving three times in five years,” she said at Monday’s news conference. “The IT industry offers so much job portability. The future of work is going to be more digital.”
Kassandra Kristoff, who works in internal communications at Google, served six years in the Navy as a surface warfare officer. She said the she and her husband – who was also in the military – struggled during their transition our of the military in 2013.
“This job search function – I wish that was around when I was transitioning out,” she said. “This is game-changing for a lot of folks that are transitioning today.”
Kristoff said working in tech was similar to the military in that the work environment was fast-paced and required people to think on their feet. She said there were opportunities for transitioning service members but also that transitioning could be difficult.
“It’s going to be a long, hard process, but continue to have that work ethic … because you never know where that could lead,” she said. “Just keep at it, and eventually you’ll land somewhere you really love.”