Facebook is pledging to train 1 million workers and small business owners across the U.S. in digital marketing and labor skills by 2020.
The announcement comes just after Facebook publicized a new partnership with the Des Moines Area Community College, which will expand DMACC’s current digital marketing course into a 30-credit-hour certificate that includes Facebook’s Blueprint curriculum.
Tuesday’s Train the Trainers workshop for Des Moines nonprofits and state agencies was a part of that push to plant local trainers, a Facebook representative said. The workshop, hosted at Franklin Junior High School, was part of Facebook’s Community Boost tour stop in Des Moines.
“In all of our digital skills work and all of our economic opportunity work, it’s really about a focus on how do we empower communities and work with local organizations. That’s what the Train the Trainer model is,” said Parisa Zagat, Policy Program Director at Facebook.
Facebook worked with Digital Promise, an international digital learning initiative, to design curriculum Facebook can use to train local organizations in communities like Des Moines, so those organizations can go on to train local workers and employers in coding and digital marketing.
“We really want to leave the flexibility to the local organizations on the best way to run it for their community, so if they decide they want to run it over the course of the month, two times a week, in the evenings, on the weekends – however best fits the community that they’re serving,” Zagat said.
Facebook is also launching online resource Learn with Facebook in fall 2018, which will provide some of those same lessons digitally. Learn with Facebook and Facebook Blueprint will teach best practices on using platforms owned by Facebook, including Instagram. When asked if Facebook’s initiative includes lessons on outside platforms like LinkedIn – which is owned by Microsoft Corporation – Zagat didn’t clarify.
“It will be a Learn with Facebook hub, but it will provide curriculum and resources on different topic areas,” Zagat said.
Cory Kelly, communications director at Iowa Workforce Development, said multiple IWD program representatives took part in Train the Trainers on Tuesday. The IWD has 15 training centers across the state and manages multiple satellite offices and partner-agency programs for workforce skills development, Kelly said.
“Our representatives are engaging in this training to identify resources that we can bring back to our Iowa work centers, and then deliver through those centers to employers and organizations in Iowa to help them leverage the platform,” Kelly said. “We can’t get to where we want to go unless we can support our citizenry and their organizations effectively adopting and integrating.”
IWD programs do offer a level of digital job seeking and social media management skills, but Facebook’s Trainers workshop will allow IWD to build on those skills when working with Iowans, Kelly said.
“Everybody comes from their own place, so we have to meet people where they are in terms of their adoption and level of knowledge, whether it’s building their business or developing their personal brand to find the job that they need,” Kelly said.
“We are in a constant state of learning and transformation just like all organizations are,” he said. ”There’s no question in my mind that we’re going to continue to engage in forums like this and otherwise to help shape and hone the programming that we deliver.”