Congrats! $50,000 Google Grant for I.T. Center

Congrats! $50,000 Google Grant for I.T. Center

Minnesota I.T. Center of Excellence Receives $50,000 Google Grant for Minnesota Career Services Project Funding

The Minnesota I.T. Center of Excellence (IT COE) announced today that it received a $50,000 grant from Google to provide project funding to the Minnesota State System (MNSCU) to help train students for future jobs through a variety of tech training programs.

The grant money will be used to support several initiatives, including to help train faculty on course content, develop a program for college students to learn how to create digital portfolios, expand the use of career readiness modules to the education and business programs on campus, create a workforce training program to expand the success of underserved and underpaid minorities, and develop a pathways program that allows students to visualize the academic and non-academic path to various jobs.

“It is exciting to see large organizations, like Google, stepping up and in to help higher education ready the future generations of leaders,” says Dr. Janice Aanenson, Executive Director of IT COE, “It is a great way to show that together as academia and industry we can make a difference.”

IT COE works with industry and educators to attract and prepare students for in-demand technology jobs in Minnesota. The IT COE has long been a leader in student engagement with free IT resources for Minnesota K-12 schools and Tech Training for Workforce Development, such as Google Career Certificates.

Google Career Certificates do not require a degree or experience and can be completed within three to six months of part-time study. An employer consortium of more than 150 companies, including Google, considers graduates for open roles. Over 100,000 people have graduated from the program in the U.S., and 75% of them report a positive career impact within six months, such as a new job, promotion, or a raise.

Thanks to the grant from Google, the IT COE offered $10,000 Initiative Grants to Bemidji University, St. Cloud State University, Minnesota State- Mankato, Minnesota State – Moorhead, and Winona State University.

“Google is proud to call Minnesota home with our office in Rochester, and we’re committed to helping Minnesotans get the skills they need to have more access to economic opportunity,” said Dan Harbeke, Regional Head of External Affairs for Google and Minnesota native. “We’re proud to support the state university system in Minnesota as they do the critical work to create pathways to jobs for students.”


Google is currently working with the Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence to offer 500 Google Career Certificate scholarships to students across the state. The Google Career Certificates equip job seekers with skills for in-demand jobs in data analytics, digital marketing and e-commerce, IT support, user experience (UX) design, and project management.

About Google

Google continues to invest in communities across the country and recently opened an office in Rochester. Last year alone, Google helped provide $10.59 billion of economic activity for tens of thousands of Minnesota businesses, nonprofits, publishers, creators, and developers and partnered with 129 organizations to train more than 102,000 Minnesotans on digital skills. More than 335,000 Minnesota businesses received requests for directions, phone calls, bookings, reviews, and other direct connections to their customers from Google in 2021. 

About Minnesota State I.T. Center of Excellence

The I.T. Center of Excellence exists to encourage Minnesota youth and adults to pursue careers in I.T. and computer science. Through collaboration with the tech industry, our partners, and educators, we seek out, develop, and provide low or no-cost resources that teach relevant, high-demand, and applicable I.T. workforce skills.