CBJ Report: Google partnering with Goodwill on digital skills initiative

MGN Online

Women of Influence Awards

As we look ahead to 2018, we’re also taking time to recognize some of the region’s most influential, including our 14th annual Women of Influence awards.

Those will honor 10 women leaders in the Corridor for outstanding work in their fields and communities. This year’s honorees will be selected by last year’s class and celebrated at an April awards banquet in Cedar Rapids.

The deadline to nominate a friend or colleague is coming up next Wendesday. Visit our website, to download the nomination form.

Alexander Lumber building sells for $2.6M in IC

The Alexander Lumber building at 1534 S. Gilbert St. in Iowa City has been sold to Alfreda Investments as plans proceed for a mixed-use development with workforce housing and commercial space at the site.

Alfreda Investments of Iowa City paid $2.6 million for the 15,492-square-foot building and 1.65-acre site. Originally constructed in 1985, the building houses Alexander Lumber and Venus Nails.

The city of Iowa City has backed the use of workforce housing tax credits for a project to build more than 300 units of workforce housing and 28,000 square feet of new commercial space on the Alexander Lumber site and adjacent Pleasant Valley Gardens Center. Developer Randy Miller has indicated plans to construct some eight buildings on the property over the next few years.

Work on the site is likely to begin in the fall. It is expected to house four buildings with 260 apartments, ranging from studios to two-bedroom units, along with ground-floor commercial.

The property was sold by South Gilbert Investments, which has partnered with the buyer on other projects, according to assessor records.

Google partnering with Goodwill on digital skills initiative

Goodwill of the Heartland has been named as one of 125 Goodwill organizations across the country to provide digital skills training services through a new multi-year initiative with Google.

Goodwill of the Heartland will receive a $50,000 grant to fund its local participation in the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator. The program will collectively result in more than 1 million people across the United States being trained in skills that will make them more marketable workers for the digital age over the next three years.

"The Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator initiative means we at Goodwill of the Heartland have one more tool to help members of our communities build their skills and expand their career options," said Paulette Risden-Rice, program director for the organization's Quad Cities service area. "There is no question that workers with up-to-date digital skills will be in a better position to advance in today's labor market."

The new training services will likely be focused in the Quad Cities, Muscatine, Burlington and Keokuk areas, according to the organization. Goodwill team members and volunteers at Goodwill's Helms Career Centers, located inside the Muscatine and Moline Goodwill stores, will also help job seekers hone their digital skills. Digital skills include basic computer skills that would be used to establish an email address, apply for a job, perform many entry-level tasks and increase productivity.

To see the full list of participating Goodwill organizations and their geographic areas, visit

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