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NCCU basketball coach teams with Google to help low-income people land high-paying jobs

Posted September 16, 2021 7:02 p.m. EDT
Updated September 16, 2021 8:03 p.m. EDT

— A foundation run by North Carolina Central University basketball coach LeVelle Moton has partnered with Google to help some low-income Triangle residents prepare for careers in information technology.

The Velle Cares Foundation aims to help children and families in poverty or at-risk situations.

"Once you walk through the door, it’s not about you anymore. It’s strictly about everyone else and what you can do to empower and help and bring about another life," Moton said.

"Corporations and employers and everyone want to talk about diversity, equity and inclusion. I’m so tired of those words," he added. "What is anyone doing about it?"

Moton decided to team up with Google to ensure those in low-income communities can get the necessary training to become certified in computer fields.

Google is hiring for some 1.2 million jobs across the country, including many openings at its cloud engineering hub in Durham.

"It doesn’t require any prior experience. You don’t have to have a background in IT to be able to pursue the certification. And it really meets people where they are," said Kia Baker, the training program director.

Developed and taught by Google employees, the certificate programs in fields such as IT support, data analytics and project management includes hands-on training. Moton's foundation covers the costs through scholarships for participants.

"It just provides jobs, skills and opportunity so they can create generational wealth for their families and have the same opportunities everybody else has," Moton said.

The program can take at least six months to complete, but participants can go at their own pace. Desmond Thomas has been in the program for about a month.

“My plan, as soon as I finish, is to go ahead to take the CompTIA exam. I’m pretty excited about that," Thomas said. "Google implementing this will give a lot of people who wouldn’t usually have a chance a better chance to get better acclimated with his field and learn more about it and see if it’s something they actually want to pursue."

"We really want to figure out how is it that we can help people in our communities build their skills so they are able to earn higher incomes and, therefore, long-term, be able to build more wealth," Baker said.

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