Tech & Science Google to give $1B, help U.S. workers find jobs

07:18  13 october  2017
07:18  13 october  2017 Source:   USA TODAY

Toyota workers out of jobs as car manufacturer closes Altona plant

  Toyota workers out of jobs as car manufacturer closes Altona plant The second of Australia's three big car manufacturers <g class="gr_ gr_6 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" data-gr-id="6" id="6">is</g> ceasing production today, as Toyota closes its Altona plant in Melbourne's west, shedding thousands of jobs.&nbsp;The closure will see Toyota's staff drop from almost 4,000 to 1,300 people, as it moves most of its white-collar workforce to the city.

* Outsourcing companies would find other ways of bringing in foreign workers – L 1 B visa, B1 visa So why was I laid off so my former company could give my job to an H 1 B ? I ’m perfectly qualified I welcome H 1 B Visa workers to help strengthen the economy and their standing within., However, the

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai addresses media at the MadebyGoogle event at the SF Jazz Center in San Francisco.© Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY Google CEO Sundar Pichai addresses media at the MadebyGoogle event at the SF Jazz Center in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO — Google will invest $1 billion over the next five years in nonprofit organizations helping people adjust to the changing nature of work, the largest philanthropic pledge to date from the Internet giant.

The announcement of the national digital skills initiative, made by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in Pittsburgh, Pa. Thursday, is a tacit acknowledgment from one of the world's most valuable companies that it bears some responsibility for rapid advances in technology that are radically reshaping industries and eliminating jobs in the U.S. and around the world.

Google Home can now find that lost phone you swore you left on the table

  Google Home can now find that lost phone you swore you left on the table Of all the things Google announced at its Pixel 2 event – and there were plenty – perhaps the most useful one is the ability to find your phone using Google Home. That feature should now be live for everyone, as spotted by Android Police.It’s simple enough: say ‘ring my phone’ or ‘find my phone’ and it’ll start ringing. If it’s an Android device, it will make noise even if your volume is off. If it’s an iPhone, Google can only call it, so it’ll only work if your device isn’t on silent.Google will also know whose phone it’s supposed to find thanks to the Voice Match feature that lets it know which household member is talking.

Why Major U . S . Job Sites are a Time-Waster for International Workers . At H 1 base, we hear this question from International Job Seekers every day: "Why can't I just find a job on one of regular U . S . job sites like Monster, Indeed or CareerBuilder?"

The Rum War. Are U . S . jobs vulnerable to workers with H- 1 B visas? Nearly every major high-tech company, including Apple, Google , Facebook, has employees here on H- 1 B visas. Bill Whitaker: Why can't we just say we're going to give jobs to Americans first ?

Pichai's pitstop in an old industrial hub that has reinvented itself as a technology and robotics center is the first on a "Grow with Google Tour." The tour that will crisscross the country will work with libraries and community organizations to provide career advice and training. It heads next to Indianapolis in November.

"The nature of work is fundamentally changing. And that is shifting the link between education, training and opportunity," Pichai said in prepared remarks at Google's offices in Pittsburgh. "One-third of jobs in 2020 will require skills that aren't common today. It's a big problem."

Google will make grants in its three core areas: education, economic opportunity and inclusion. Already in the last few months, it has handed out $100 million of the $1 billion to nonprofits, according to Pichai.

Spotify voice commands now work on any Google Assistant-supported device

  Spotify voice commands now work on any Google Assistant-supported device Google has announced that Spotify voice commands will be fully supported on Google Assistant within the coming weeks.&nbsp;Before, Spotify voice commands were only available on Google Home, but now the same functions translate to Google Assistant on your phone. Both free and premium Spotify users will be able to use the voice commands, like, “OK Google, play some rock music on Spotify.” If you link your Spotify and make it the default player on Google Assistant, you won’t have to say “on Spotify” at the end of commands.

Nearly every major high-tech company, including Apple, Google , Facebook, has employees here on H- 1 B visas. Bill Whitaker: Why can’t we just say we’re going to give jobs to Americans first ? About 70 percent of the 85,000 H- 1 B visas given out each year go to workers from India.

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The largest single grant — $10 million, the largest Google's ever made — is going to Goodwill, which is creating the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator. Over the next three years Goodwill, a major player in workforce development, aims to provide 1 million people with access to digital skills and career opportunities. Pichai says 1,000 Google employees will be available for career coaching.

In all, Google employees will donate 1 million volunteer hours to assist organizations like Goodwill trying to close the gap between the education and skills of the American workforce and the new demands of the 21st century workplace, Pichai said.

Google Assistant gets a male voice option

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In support, they cite a paper by Agnes Scott College researcher Madeline Zavodny, which found that hiring H-1Bs creates jobs for Americans: specifically, that “adding 100 H- 1 B workers results in an additional 183 jobs among U . S . natives.”

H 1 B visas rarely replace U . S . workers directly. In fact, they initially help create competitive jobs in the U . S . Yet, H 1 B staff allows their employers to take on more client projects. As a result, U . S . workers at client firms may lose their jobs .

The announcements, which drew praise from state and local politicians including Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf, come as Google scrambles to respond to revelations that accounts linked to the Russian government used its advertising system to interfere with the presidential election.

Google is embroiled in a growing number of other controversies, from a Labor Department investigation and a lawsuit by former employees alleging systemic pay discrimination, to the proliferation of misinformation in search results and extremist content on YouTube. As the controversies have multiplied, so too have calls for Washington to regulate Google because of its massive scale and global reach.

"This isn’t the first time we’ve seen massive, market-creating and labor market-disrupting companies try to address growing public pressure and possible regulatory limits in this way. But it often has been individual corporate titans who’ve gotten into philanthropy — Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller — as a way to rehabilitate their own images, tarnished by anxiety about the size of their companies and treatment of workers," said Margaret O'Mara, a history professor at the University of Washington.

Explore (most of) the solar system in Google Maps

  Explore (most of) the solar system in Google Maps Google first added the moon and Mars to Google Maps back in 2014 to commemorate the Curiosity rover's second year exploring the red planet.&nbsp;Sure, you couldn't zoom down to Street View level, but it's the closest many of us will get to the celestial bodies. If that wasn't enough extraterrestrial fun, Google has answered your prayers: Mercury, Venus, Pluto and ten moons from other planets have been included in the roster.

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"What’s interesting here is what this signals about how Google’s future business ambitions. It is betting that its next era will be one not of search and apps but of devices and labor market interventions."

Google's not alone fending off critics. A recent headline in tech news outlet TechCrunch read: "Dear Silicon Valley: America’s fallen out of love with you."

The tech industry, once a shiny symbol of American innovation and pride, has found itself on the defensive after the election of Donald Trump, which telegraphed the deepening disillusionment of everyday Americans who have watched the gains of the economic recovery pass them by.

While whole communities in the nation's heartland have fallen into economic decline, the tech industry, clustered in vibrant coastal hubs like San Francisco and New York, has grown wealthy off new developments that are disrupting how Americans live and work.

The pace of that innovation is quickening. For years tech companies could not deliver on promises of hyper-intelligent machines capable of performing human tasks. Now the technology is catching up to the aspirations.

In recent years, Google and other companies have made long strides, from self-driving cars that whisk you to your destination to digital assistants who answer your questions. This new wave of automation that aids consumers in their everyday lives has a dark side: It's killing off traditional jobs and stranding workers, still struggling after the recession, who are unprepared for the shift.

Bega’s ‘nutty’ acquisition saves hundreds of Aussie jobs

  Bega’s ‘nutty’ acquisition saves hundreds of Aussie jobs Bega might be famous for its cheese, but the company’s new nutty acquisition will keep Victorian factory workers in a job. The New South Wales-based dairy company recently took over the former Kraft peanut butter factory in Port Melbourne, adding the “never oily, never dry” spread to its product portfolio.Bega has confirmed the breakfast favourite will be made to the same recipe, and in the same factory, keeping hundreds of jobs on home soil.The only changes will be to the jar’s packaging, with a new refreshed look set to be rolled on supermarket shelves in coming months.

The Google feed has lost its soul. Stephen Miller, senior policy adviser for President Donald Trump, said the administration will seek an immigration program where "American workers are given jobs first ."

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Google, says O'Mara, will have "undeniably disruptive impacts on the jobs people do and the skills they need for them."

In the 1960s when computer-aided automation worried the nation, presidential and congressional commissions and government agencies tackled the challenge.

"Now it’s the private sector. And even though $1 billion sounds like a lot, it is a small number compared to government education programs or, for that matter, the balance sheets of large tech companies," O'Mara said.

When Pichai came to the United States from his native India 24 years ago, it was the first time he had been on a plane. Pittsburgh was the first city he saw. Though Pittsburgh was moored to its early 20th century roots as a steel town, Carnegie Mellon University was already propelling the city into the future.

"As a new arrival, I was homesick but struck by something new: the sense of optimism," he said. "I remain a technology optimist."

Pichai envisions that transformation for Pittsburg as a blueprint for the country to make the transition to a new industrial era. On Thursday, Pichai detailed other programs Google is undertaking.

- Grow with Google is a free online program to help Americans secure the skills they need to get a job or grow their business. Job seekers, business owners and teachers can learn the basics of working with tech, from spreadsheets to email, get training and certificates through google.com/grow. Google says it has rolled it out to 27,000 middle and high school students and now plans to expand it to community colleges and vocational programs.

- In January, Google will launch an IT certificate program developed with online education provider Coursera that includes hands-on labs to prepare people for jobs in eight to 12 months and then connects graduates with potential employers. Google will sponsor 2,600 full scholarships through nonprofit organizations.

- Working with Udacity, Google is creating the Google Developer Scholarship Challenge. The top 10% of applicants who enroll in Google developer courses will receive scholarships.

- Google will give away 20,000 vouchers to get G​ ​Suite​ ​certification​.

"We don’t have all the answers. The people closest to the problem are usually the people closest to the solution," Pichai said. "We want to help them reach it sooner."

Google's refined Security Checkup identifies account vulnerabilities .
While Google might soon switch VIPs over to advanced protection in the form of physical keys, the rest of us are fine with typical security practices -- so long as we follow them. To better secure your Google account, the company has a new version of its Security Checkup feature that points out vulnerabilities . Instead of needing to run through the same generic checklist of questions, the tool will instead identify weak areas in your account setup and bring them to your attention.

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