Tag Archives: Company announcements

Increasing Google’s investment in New York

Google has been fortunate to call New York City home for more than 20 years, during which time we have grown to 12,000 employees. New York’s vitality, creativity and world-class talent are what keep us rooted here. It is why we’re announcing today that we are deepening our commitment to New York and intend to purchase the St. John’s Terminal in Manhattan for $2.1 billion, which will serve as the anchor of our new Hudson Square campus. 

As Google moves toward a more flexible hybrid approach to work, coming together in person to collaborate and build community will remain an important part of our future. It is why we continue investing in our offices around the world. Our decision to exercise our option to purchase St. John’s Terminal further builds upon our existing plans to invest more than $250 million this year in our New York campus presence. It is also an important part of meeting our previously announced racial equity commitments, which include continuing to grow our workforce in diverse communities like New York.

The St. John’s Terminal site at 550 Washington Street, which we currently lease and expect to open by mid-2023, will be one part of the already sizable investment we’ve made in New York — Google’s largest office outside California. We’ve made substantial progress in building out our 1.7 million-square-foot Hudson Square campus that will serve as the New York headquarters for our Global Business Organization, which includes our sales and partnership teams. The St. John’s Terminal transaction will close in the first quarter of 2022.

St. John’s Terminal is a former freight facility that is being reimagined into a highly sustainable, adaptable and connected building. Its biophilic design connecting people more closely to nature will add numerous outdoor open spaces and reconnect the Hudson Square neighborhood to the waterfront. The building will also offset 100% of its carbon in support of Google’s ambitious carbon goals. 

A rendering of Google's Hudson Square campus, overlooking the water and the city skyline.

The development’s biophilic design will feature numerous outdoor spaces (credit: COOKFOX Architects)

Construction is also proceeding at Pier 57, which we expect will be completed next year. This space will provide new opportunities for us to engage with our community neighbors, and will include office space occupied by Google, a public food hall, community space, galleries, the city’s largest public rooftop space and educational and environmental programs run by the Hudson River Park Trust.

We know that like many places around the world, New York has been significantly impacted by the pandemic, and we’re extremely focused on helping local communities, organizations and people emerge stronger from this crisis. For example, since 2005, Google has provided over $170 million in grant funding to nonprofits in New York. In the Hudson Square neighborhood in particular, we’re supporting the new Jackie Robinson Museum opening next year with a grant to help deliver new educational programming for students. We’ve also provided grant funding to the Children’s Museum of the Arts to help launch new digital programming for childhood arts education and to God’s Love We Deliver to offer free nutritious meals and services for those living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses.

We also continue to invest in nurturing the next generation of tech talent and ensuring New Yorkers have equitable access to quality education, training and resources. Our Grow with Google programs are helping to create new pathways to in-demand tech jobs for people most impacted by the pandemic. Through Google’s skilling programs, more than 3,800 New Yorkers have completed a certificate program to date. We are working with select CUNY/SUNY Schools to add Google Certificates to their curriculum as part of the SUNY for All free online training program.

These investments we are making in our NYC campus presence will give us the capacity to grow our workforce in the city to more than 14,000 employees in the coming years, and we look forward to continuing to be an active part of New York City’s vibrant community.

Today’s press on temporary staff

I joined Google late last year to oversee compliance activities across the company. I want to provide some additional information about an issue that I was made aware of this week, now reported in the press, relating to the “comparator rates” for a subset of our temporary staffers. 

Temporary staffers at Google

Around the world, we have about 6,000 temporary staffers who come to us from staffing partners and who work for a short period (up to two years) on short-term projects, such as covering leaves. They’re a hugely important part of our workforce and work in a wide range of areas, ranging from program managers to technical writers to lawyers to administrative roles. We strive to ensure they’re paid very competitively.

What are “comparator rates,” and why were we reviewing them?

As the number of roles at Google has expanded, the Extended Workforce Solutions (xWS) team has been working to update our mapping of each temporary staff role to its equivalent employee role, and then calculating the employee’s hourly rate. That benchmark is the “comparator rate”. There are thousands of comparator rates — one for each combination of role type, level and location.

Having a set of updated comparator rates helps us compete more effectively for talent, and helps us and our staffing partners comply with laws governing pay parity between temporary staff and employees.  

The team discovered that some of these comparator rate benchmarks hadn’t been updated for a number of years.

How do comparator rates relate to actual pay rates?

Comparator rates are an internal benchmark only. They don't reflect what our staffing partners actually pay temporary staff. After all, our staffing partners need to pay well to attract candidates to apply for these roles.

Our review to date shows that most temporary staff are paid significantly more than the “comparator rate” benchmark. For example,

  • For a Technical Writer II in Canada, a current temporary staff member is making 50% more than the 2021 comparator rate.

  • For a Business Analyst II in India, a current temporary staff member is making 80% more than the 2021 comparator rate. 

  • For a UX Engineer II in the U.S., a current temporary staff member is making 35% more than the 2021 comparator rate. 

  • For a Hardware Engineer III in the U.S., a current temporary staff member is making 60% more than the 2021 comparator rate. 

These are just a few examples.

And even though the team hasn’t increased the comparator rates for some years, actual pay rates for temporary staff have increased numerous times in that period.

What are we doing next?

Updating comparator rates across the board has been an ongoing project in xWS and for the past two years, that team has been actively working on it, including discussing how to update them for current and new temporary staff.  

But it’s clear to me the pace has been unacceptably slow and, in recent months, the team has begun taking steps to speed it up. We have replaced the outside firm working on it and have updated comparator rates in a number of countries. 

It’s clear that this process has not been handled consistent with the high standards to which we hold ourselves as a company. We’re doing a thorough review, and we’re committed to identifying and addressing any pay discrepancies that the team has not already addressed. And we’ll be conducting a review of our compliance practices in this area. In short, we’re going to figure out what went wrong here, why it happened, and we’re going to make it right.

Extending our voluntary return to office

Our CEO, Sundar Pichai, sent the following email to Google employees earlier this morning. The email has been edited to remove internal links.

Hi Googlers,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a humbling challenge for all of us and I continue to be impressed by the way our teams are navigating through it. In spite of these challenges, I’m happy to say that a large number of offices globally are already open for business, and we are welcoming back tens of thousands of Googlers on a voluntary basis. Given that conditions around the world are still highly variable, I wanted to share how we’re planning to approach the next few months:

  • First, as offices continue to reopen, we hope to see more teams coming together where possible, whether it be for regular team meetings, brainstorming sessions around a whiteboard, or outdoor socials. For some locations, conditions are starting to improve, yet in many parts of the world the pandemic continues to create uncertainty. Acknowledging that, we’ll extend our global voluntary return-to-office policy through January 10, 2022 to give more Googlers flexibility and choice as they ramp back. 

  • Beyond January 10, we will enable countries and locations to make determinations on when to end voluntary work-from-home based on local conditions, which vary greatly across our offices. To make sure everyone has ample time to plan, you’ll have a 30-day heads-up before you’re expected back in the office.

  • Finally, encouraging Googlers to rest and recharge during this time remains a big priority so we will plan two more global reset days next quarter: Oct 22 and Dec 17. 

The road ahead may be a little longer and bumpier than we hoped, yet I remain optimistic that we will get through it together. It’s heartening to see Googlers starting to come back to more offices globally. The ability to reconnect in person has been re-energizing for many of us, and will make us even more effective in the weeks and months ahead. Thanks for all the great work thus far; look forward to a busy Q4 as we continue to find new ways to be helpful to people everywhere. 

-Sundar

Vaccines and our return-to-office plans

Sundar sent the following email to Google employees earlier this morning. The email has been edited to remove internal links. 

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all taking good care. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve put the wellbeing of our Google community front and center. We’ve done this while also taking care of our customers and partners, launching over 200 new products and features to help people and businesses navigate this difficult time. 

In March of 2020, we made the early decision to send employees home to slow down the spread of COVID. Since then, we’ve extended our Carer’s Leave coverage to help employees care for loved ones. We’ve continued to cover the full wages of on campus workers who couldn't perform their jobs because of office closures. And, we’ve made sure that Googlers and our extended workforce have access to vaccines as soon as they are available locally. Additionally, thanks to the generosity of Googlers and support from Google.org, we've helped Gavi to fully vaccinate over 1 million people in low-and middle-income countries globally. 

Even as the virus continues to surge in many parts of the world, it’s encouraging to see very high vaccination rates for our Google community in areas where vaccines are widely available. This is a big reason why we felt comfortable opening some of our offices to employees who wanted to return early. And I have to say it’s been great to see Googlers brainstorming around whiteboards and enjoying meals in cafes again in the many offices that have already re-opened globally. 

Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months ahead. As we look toward a global return to our offices, I wanted to share two key updates:

  • First, anyone coming to work on our campuses will need to be vaccinated. We’re rolling this policy out in the U.S. in the coming weeks and will expand to other regions in the coming months. The implementation will vary according to local conditions and regulations, and will not apply until vaccines are widely available in your area. You’ll get guidance from your local leads about how this will affect you, and we’ll also share more details on an exceptions process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other protected reasons.

  • Second, we are extending our global voluntary work-from-home policy through October 18.We are excited that we’ve started to re-open our campuses and encourage Googlers who feel safe coming to sites that have already opened to continue doing so. At the same time, we recognize that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office. This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it. We’ll continue watching the data carefully and let you know at least 30 days in advance before transitioning into our full return to office plans. For those of you with special circumstances, we will soon be sharing expanded temporary work options that will allow you to apply to work from home through the end of 2021. We’re also extending Expanded Carer’s Leave through the end of the year for parents and caregivers.

I know that many of you continue to deal with very challenging circumstances related to the pandemic. While there is much that remains outside of our control, I’m proud of the way we continue to take care of each other while helping people, businesses and communities through these difficult times.  

I hope these steps will give everyone greater peace of mind as offices reopen. Seeing Googlers together in the offices these past few weeks filled me with optimism, and I’m looking forward to brighter days ahead. 

-Sundar

Honoring Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at Google

My parents fled China by boat in the 1940s during the Communist Revolution, ultimately landing in New Jersey, where I grew up. As one of three Asian kids at my school, I felt like an outsider and it seemed clear that popularity and success didn’t come easily to people who looked like me. Today, I sometimes still feel like an outsider, and as a father of two girls, I often worry about what lies ahead for them. Our community is worried about our families, as the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community has faced unabated, horrific violence and racism over the last year. We’re afraid to step outside our homes. These challenges require national attention and dialogue in order for lasting change to occur. 

Photo of a young Marvin Chow and his parents.

Marvin Chow and his parents in New Jersey.

This year, for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Google is reaffirming its commitment to standing with the Asian and Pacific Islander community in the fight against hatred, while also honoring the diversity of different Asian cultures and elevating API voices. We’re doing this in part by launching a number of initiatives that uplift the API community through our products and in our own workplace. 


Our commitments to help #StopAsianHate

We're honored to grow our support for the organizations on the front lines fighting for safety, dignity and equity for the API community and have committed more than $10 million toward this critical work.

There’s an urgent need to improve the psychological and physical safety of the API community. To help, we’ve donated more than $3 million in Google.org cash grants to Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC, The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and more than 35 local organizations across the country that provide physical protection services and mental health resources. These organizations include Self Help for the Elderly in the San Francisco Bay Area, Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) in Seattle, the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) in Los Angeles and the Asian American Federation in New York City. 

We also understand that the challenges facing the API community require sustained attention in order to achieve lasting change. That’s why we’re providing $3.5 million in Ad Grants to Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC, The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, Stop AAPI Hate and more to help fund incident reporting, bystander training and the advancement of civil rights for the Asian Pacific Islander community.  

Sharing our own history, celebrating our breakthroughs and educating the world about how we experience racism are critically important in this moment. So, we’re elevating API voices by providing $4 million in YouTube Ad Credits to nonprofits, creators and storytellers who are championing the #StopAsianHate movement. 

These organizations and individuals are doing the work required to create meaningful change. 

 

A spotlight on Asian and Pacific Islander art and culture

Throughout May, we’ll be elevating the voices of influential and inspirational members of the API community across our products and platforms. Today, the Google homepage celebrates the life and work of Hisaye Yamamoto, a Japanese-American author who was interned during WWII. Hisaye’s work reveals the Japanese immigrant experience in America, the disconnect between first- and second-generation immigrants, as well as the intersectional challenges she experienced.

Google Arts & Culture is also launching a hub dedicated to Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences alongside more than 48 partners, including the Museum of Chinese in America, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the Center for Asian American Mediaand the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design — to name a few. It features more than 114 online stories, and thousands of cultural artifacts, archives and artworks that dive into a rich history, such as the emotional story of the Chinese Poetry engraved on the walls of Angel Island by detainees of the Immigration Station.

On the YouTube Spotlight channel, we’ll be showcasing the breadth of API creators and artists throughout May and YouTube Music will release a flagship playlist titled “Celebrating APAHM” featuring both emerging and iconic Asian American artists.


Taking care of our Asian and Pacific Islander community at Google

How we support our own Asian and Pacific Islander community is critical — and we’re focused on ensuring our employees feel supported and heard. Over the past few months, Employee Resource Groups like the Asian Google Network (AGN), Filipino Google Network (FGN) and other API community groups have hosted listening sessions for our global communities, as well as highlighted priorities for our allyship programs. Google is also matching donations for an internal giving campaign focused on organizations supporting the community and advocating for justice. 

And this month, AGN will be hosting events like the “Celebrate Your Elders” campaign, which will share stories of resilience from seniors in our communities. AGN will also host virtual Talks at Google speakers to discuss the API experience. Additionally, FGN will host “The Adobo Project,” highlighting the historical and personal significance food holds in the community. 

In recent months, I’ve been encouraged by how our Google API community has come together and how the company has stood against anti-Asian racism and hatred. And as I think about my own story and role as a father, I remain hopeful things can be different for my daughters and that they’ll feel a sense of belonging and inclusion which I, and so many others, have not.

Honoring Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at Google

My parents fled China by boat in the 1940s during the Communist Revolution, ultimately landing in New Jersey, where I grew up. As one of three Asian kids at my school, I felt like an outsider and it seemed clear that popularity and success didn’t come easily to people who looked like me. Today, I sometimes still feel like an outsider, and as a father of two girls, I often worry about what lies ahead for them. Our community is worried about our families, as the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community has faced unabated, horrific violence and racism over the last year. We’re afraid to step outside our homes. These challenges require national attention and dialogue in order for lasting change to occur. 

Photo of a young Marvin Chow and his parents.

Marvin Chow and his parents in New Jersey.

This year, for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Google is reaffirming its commitment to standing with the Asian and Pacific Islander community in the fight against hatred, while also honoring the diversity of different Asian cultures and elevating API voices. We’re doing this in part by launching a number of initiatives that uplift the API community through our products and in our own workplace. 


Our commitments to help #StopAsianHate

We're honored to grow our support for the organizations on the front lines fighting for safety, dignity and equity for the API community and have committed more than $10 million toward this critical work.

There’s an urgent need to improve the psychological and physical safety of the API community. To help, we’ve donated more than $3 million in Google.org cash grants to Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC, The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and more than 35 local organizations across the country that provide physical protection services and mental health resources. These organizations include Self Help for the Elderly in the San Francisco Bay Area, Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) in Seattle, the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) in Los Angeles and the Asian American Federation in New York City. 

We also understand that the challenges facing the API community require sustained attention in order to achieve lasting change. That’s why we’re providing $3.5 million in Ad Grants to Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC, The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, Stop AAPI Hate and more to help fund incident reporting, bystander training and the advancement of civil rights for the Asian Pacific Islander community.  

Sharing our own history, celebrating our breakthroughs and educating the world about how we experience racism are critically important in this moment. So, we’re elevating API voices by providing $4 million in YouTube Ad Credits to nonprofits, creators and storytellers who are championing the #StopAsianHate movement. 

These organizations and individuals are doing the work required to create meaningful change. 

 

A spotlight on Asian and Pacific Islander art and culture

Throughout May, we’ll be elevating the voices of influential and inspirational members of the API community across our products and platforms. Today, the Google homepage celebrates the life and work of Hisaye Yamamoto, a Japanese-American author who was interned during WWII. Hisaye’s work reveals the Japanese immigrant experience in America, the disconnect between first- and second-generation immigrants, as well as the intersectional challenges she experienced.

Google Arts & Culture is also launching a hub dedicated to Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences alongside more than 48 partners, including the Museum of Chinese in America, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the Center for Asian American Mediaand the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design — to name a few. It features more than 114 online stories, and thousands of cultural artifacts, archives and artworks that dive into a rich history, such as the emotional story of the Chinese Poetry engraved on the walls of Angel Island by detainees of the Immigration Station.

On the YouTube Spotlight channel, we’ll be showcasing the breadth of API creators and artists throughout May and YouTube Music will release a flagship playlist titled “Celebrating APAHM” featuring both emerging and iconic Asian American artists.


Taking care of our Asian and Pacific Islander community at Google

How we support our own Asian and Pacific Islander community is critical — and we’re focused on ensuring our employees feel supported and heard. Over the past few months, Employee Resource Groups like the Asian Google Network (AGN), Filipino Google Network (FGN) and other API community groups have hosted listening sessions for our global communities, as well as highlighted priorities for our allyship programs. Google is also matching donations for an internal giving campaign focused on organizations supporting the community and advocating for justice. 

And this month, AGN will be hosting events like the “Celebrate Your Elders” campaign, which will share stories of resilience from seniors in our communities. AGN will also host virtual Talks at Google speakers to discuss the API experience. Additionally, FGN will host “The Adobo Project,” highlighting the historical and personal significance food holds in the community. 

In recent months, I’ve been encouraged by how our Google API community has come together and how the company has stood against anti-Asian racism and hatred. And as I think about my own story and role as a father, I remain hopeful things can be different for my daughters and that they’ll feel a sense of belonging and inclusion which I, and so many others, have not.

Championing women’s sports with the WNBA and ESPN

When I think back to all of the time I have spent watching sports, a few memorable moments rise to the top. Lisa Leslie’s famous dunk, the first in WNBA history, took the world by storm. My daughter and I were on the edge of our seats when the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team won the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the fourth time back in 2019. And seeing Simone Biles perform multiple signature gymnastics moves that have never been done before is a testament to her creativity and incredible talent. These moments are inspiring and remind us that investment in women and girls allows for them to live out their dreams.  

Despite knowing the importance of representation, only 4% of television sports coverage and less than 1% of sponsorship is dedicated to women’s sports. This lack of visibility and support impacts not only professional athletes, but all of us, from fans and emerging athletes to our kids who dream of following in the footsteps of their idols. It even transcends sports by reinforcing standards of inequity. This is something I am personally passionate about, and that we at Google are eager to help change. 

Today, we’re proud to announce that we’re embarking on a multi-year partnership with the WNBA and ESPN as a WNBA Changemaker. As a Changemaker, we are committed to increasing visibility and coverage of women’s sports to help break down barriers.

First up, as the Presenting Partner of the WNBA on ESPN, we will work with both companies to deliver “25 for 25”: 25 regular season games on ABC and ESPN for the 25th season of the league. We are also working with ESPN to add a dedicated segment for women’s sports on SportsCenter, ensuring the network’s flagship program celebrates the top plays, inclusive of all genders. 

Like all of us, WNBA players have their own stories off the court. So later this month, we'll work with the league, ESPN and others to launch these stories on ESPN Films' 30 for 30. We’ll follow Maya Moore and her fight for criminal justice reform as well as get a peek into the energy of last year’s WNBA Playoff Wubble in the documentary “144.”

Finally, as an ‘Official Trends & Fan Insights Partner’ of the WNBA and an 'Official Technology Partner,' we will harness the best of Google's products and innovation to enrich WNBA fans' connection to the game, to the culture and to one another. We will continue to make it easy to follow the game on Search, helping you check scores, standings, stats and more. Plus, this year you’ll be able see highlights from the recent games on Search, so you never miss any of the action.


Two mobile phone screens showing search results for WBNA — one screen shows games, another shows teams

Keep up with all your favorite WNBA teams on Search.

The WNBA has been at the forefront of progress, for gender equity, racial justice and sport as a whole. And with ESPN as the leading platform for sports coverage, they are at the forefront of telling stories that need to be heard and shining a light on athletes making a difference. We are incredibly proud to partner with these two organizations that share our values on equity and inclusivity, so that women athletes can get the recognition they deserve.

My hope is that we can lay the foundations so that every woman and girl can turn on TV,  go to Search and YouTube, and see themselves represented in sports and media. By sharing the stories and talent of these incredible athletes through this partnership, we have a big opportunity to make that hope a reality.


Investing in America in 2021

One of the best parts of my job is getting the opportunity to visit the communities that Google is a part of across the U.S. Whether it’s meeting small business owners in Pittsburgh, congratulating graduates of our Google Career Certificates in Dallas, or visiting a classroom of kids learning to code in Oklahoma, these trips have always filled me with optimism and insight.

Obviously in-person visits haven’t been possible over the past year. Yet I continue to be inspired by the stories I’ve read of teachers moving to virtual classrooms, local shops taking digital orders, and job seekers enrolling in online courses to sharpen their skills. It’s why I believe a lasting economic recovery will come from local communities, and the people and small businesses that give them life. 

Google wants to be a part of that recovery. That’s why we plan to invest over $7 billion in offices and data centers across the U.S. and create at least 10,000 new full-time Google jobs in the U.S. this year. This includes investing in communities that are new to Google and expanding in others across 19 states.

A map with pins showing the locations of Google's data centers and offices. 19 states are shaded to indicate new 2021 investments.

Investing in our offices

Coming together in person to collaborate and build community is core to Google’s culture, and it will be an important part of our future. So we continue to make significant investments in our offices around the country, as well as our home state of California, where we will be investing over $1 billion this year. Outside of the Bay Area, we’ll keep growing our offices across the U.S., including plans to add thousands of roles in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York. This will help bring more jobs and investment to diverse communities as part of our previously announced racial equity commitments. We’re already making progress: 2020 was our largest year ever for hiring Black and Latinx Googlers in the U.S., both overall and in tech roles.

Expanding our data centers 

In addition to Google offices, we’re investing in data center expansions in Nebraska, South Carolina, Virginia, Nevada and Texas. Our existing data center sites in Nebraska, Ohio, Texas and Nevada will be fully up and running in 2021. Our data centers are what powers your searches, emails, photos and the maps that help you find the fastest way home; they’re also important to the fabric of local communities, from providing opportunities for supply chain partners and small businesses to supporting distance learning in South Carolina and Nevada.

Creating more economic impact 

Not only will these investments enable us to create new opportunities in the places where we operate; they’ll also make it possible to provide products and services that help boost economic recovery. In 2020, Google Search, Google Play, YouTube and Google advertising tools helped provide $426 billion of economic activity for more than 2 million American businesses, nonprofits, publishers, creators and developers, according to our2020 U.S. Economic Impact Report, released today. For example, Corinna relies on the reviews on her Business Profile to attract new customers to Celsious, an eco-friendly laundry service and public space in Brooklyn, NY. In South Carolina, Tay and Sarah use YouTube for business tips and inspiration daily, helping Bobby’s BBQ draw lines around the block for its famous all-purpose seasoning.

In addition to helping businesses adapt and recover during the pandemic, the Android app ecosystem, including Google Play, helped support 1.9 million jobs in 2020—from software engineers and mobile applications developers, to marketing and human resources teams. And YouTube creators started and grew their businesses on the YouTube platform, creating over 345,000 jobs for Americans last year. That’s in addition to the more than 84,000 Googlers we employ full-time throughout the U.S.

Where we’re investing in 2021

Across offices and data centers, here are more details on where our investments will be focused in 2021.

South


We’re increasing our investment in our South Carolina data center, establishing our newest Cloud engineering site in Durham, North Carolina, and opening the first U.S. Google Operations Center in Southaven, Mississippi. In Virginia, we’ll open our new Reston office building and expand our Loudoun County data center. In Texas, the new data center in Midlothian is now operational, we’re opening our first Houston office and continue to invest in our campuses in Austin. We’re continuing to invest in our Atlanta campus as well.


Midwest


Earlier this year, we established Google’s first Minnesota office in Rochester, and our data centers in New Albany, Ohio and Papillion, Nebraska, are now operational. We’ll expand our data center footprint in Nebraska with an additional investment, and make further improvements to our Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Chicago offices. 

East


In 2018 we made a commitment to double our workforce in New York by 2028, and this year, we will continue to invest in building out our campus presence to meet that goal. We’ll continue to invest  in our Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania offices, as well as increase our workforce in Washington, D.C.


Central + West


Our growth continues in Boulder, Colorado, and we will open our new office in Portland, Oregon, this year. We continue to invest in our Kirkland and Seattle campuses in Washington State. In California, we will continue to invest in our offices in the state and support affordable housing initiatives in the Bay Area as part of our $1 billion housing commitment. We project that our $250 million investment fund will help create 24,000 housing units by 2029. In Nevada, our data center in Henderson is now operational, with plans to expand it, along with our Storey County data center, in 2021.

Supporting small businesses around the world

Small businesses are the backbone of the global economy and at the core of many of Google’s tools, services and products. So when the pandemic hit last year, we announced a $200 million investment fund as part of our $800+ million commitment to support small businesses in the face of COVID-19.

We set out to partner with organizations who share our desire to empower small businesses in underserved communities, which are often overlooked by traditional lenders.  

In the U.S. we are partnering with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). To date, OFN has helped us provide over $90 million in low-interest loans from the Grow with Google Small Business Fund and Google.org grants to over thirty Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) across the country. CDFIs in turn finance hundreds of small businesses, like Gem City Market, a new grocery cooperative that secured funding from Finance Fund Capital Corporation (FCAP) to help them provide affordable, quality kitchen staples to the Dayton, Ohio, community. 

A group of people holding a sign advertising Gem City Market in Ohio

Today, we are announcing our international partners who will help fulfill our $75 million commitment to small businesses outside of the U.S. We've partnered with two innovative government-sponsored investment initiatives, with the belief that public-private partnerships can provide creative solutions to meet the needs of small businesses in this critical time:

  • In Europe, we are proud to be partnering with the European Investment Fund (EIF), an EU body supporting Europe’s small and medium-size businesses. We will be the first company investing in two EIF funds: $15 million in loan capital that will support more than 1000 European small businesses and $10 million in EIF’s Life Sciences Fund, a venture capital fund that will help support approximately 200 life sciences companies, many of which are helping with the COVID-19 crisis. This Life Sciences Fund is also supported by the European Commission’s European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

  • In Latin America, with the help of a long-term partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank through its innovation lab, we are allocating $8 million to increase the capital available in the region for small businesses. Two out of three workers in Latin America are employed by a small business, which makes their success one of the most essential elements for economic recovery in the region.

In addition, we’re working with non-government partners who have a long track record of providing resources to businesses that are generally overlooked by traditional lenders:

  • In Africa, the Middle East and Indonesia, we’ve established a $26 million loan initiative with Kiva, an organization which crowdfunds loans to unlock capital for the underserved around the world. Kiva’s global reach, local relationships and mission-driven approach make them an ideal partner to scale across several regions. Over the coming months, Google and Kiva will work together to create financial solutions that will support thousands of small businesses spanning 10 countries. Google.org is also providing a separate $1 million grant to help Kiva build capacity for their local partnerships and research the impact of this program.

  • In India, we will invest $15 million to support small and micro enterprises across the country and are in discussions with local partners. And in Israel, we will provide $1 million to the Ogen-Israel Social Loan Fund, which is designed to provide accessible, low-interest loans to micro and small businesses as well as non-profit organizations.

From our inception, Google has had a special relationship with small businesses around the world – helping them scale, innovate and reach new customers.  With today’s announcement, we’re proud to help them meet a new challenge — accessing capital needed to recover and build resiliency for the future. 

Progress on our racial equity commitments

Editor’s note: In June, our CEO Sundar Pichai shared the company’s commitments to advance racial equity. The following note was sent to employees today, and sets out the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days.  

Hi everyone, 


In June, we committed to continue building sustainable equity for Google’s Black+ community and making our products and programs helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Thanks to the work of hundreds of Googlers, I’m glad to share some of the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days. I want to acknowledge two things up front: first, this is only a progress report—systems-level change takes time, and we’re invested for the long term. Second, while much of our initial work has been focused on the U.S., we are deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion globally, and will continue to work with local leaders to make sure these approaches can benefit Black+ Googlers everywhere.

Increasing supplier diversity 

We rely on thousands of suppliers to help us run our business—from marketing agencies and construction to food and professional services. Today we are setting a goal to spend $100 million with Black-owned businesses, as part of our broader commitment to spend a minimum of $1 billion with diverse-owned suppliers in the U.S., every year starting in 2021. This commitment will bring more business to a diverse set of suppliers, and more importantly, create sustained economic impact for these communities.

Supporting small business, job seekers and students

Increasing the diversity of our suppliers is one example of how we are helping to create economic opportunity for Black communities. Our partnership with Opportunity Finance Network is another: over $9 million in loans and grants for Black-owned businesses have been allocated to local partners out of the $50 million we pledged in June. We’ve also selected 76 founders to receive funding from the $5 million U.S. Black Founders Fund, and we’ve established a $1 million fund in Brazil and a $2 million fund in Europeto support Black founders outside the U.S.


In education, welaunched the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to help equip Historically Black College and University students with digital skills. And, we’ll grant 50 universities an exploreCSR award for the 2020-2021 academic year to help attract and retain underrepresented students in computer science. 

Supporting racial justice organizations

In June, we committed $12 million to support racial justice organizations—almost all of which has been distributed. We’ve also embedded a team of pro-bono engineers in the Center for Policing Equity to help expand its National Justice Database. Globally, Google.org has committed $1 million to support local organizations in Brazil, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Today, we’re committing another $1.5 million to support racial justice organizations and empower Black communities across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on entrepreneurs and job skilling for Black youth.

Building helpful products

On the product side, we’re continuing to make our products more helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Recent activations include a new Black-owned business attribute on Maps, Assistant responses on Black Lives Matter, and new ways marketers can support Black-owned publishers in Display & Video 360—with more to come. We’ve also announced thefirst YouTube Originals to come from our #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a $100 million global commitment to acquire and produce programming focused on Black experiences and racial justice education, as well as support Black YouTube creators and artists.

Supporting Black+ Googlers throughout their careers

Meaningful, lasting change needs to come from within our own walls. That means looking across the experience of underrepresented Googlers, including Black+, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, and at all of our internal processes, including recruiting, leveling, performance, promotion, talent assessment and retention practices.


We’ve laid some good groundwork here. Since June, we’ve doubled the Retention & Progression team so that each organization has a designated consultant to support underrepresented Googlers, and we plan to triple our investment in this program by 2022. Meanwhile, we continue to roll out more robust checks for fairness and equity in our Perf process, including this cycle. 


We’ve also taken steps to create a deeper sense of belonging for our Black+ community, from offering relevant and useful benefits to fostering supportive internal communities. For example, last month we introduced a student loan repayment program to address the debt that hinders economic progress for many communities of color. We also increased the percentage of Black+ mental health counselors available to Googlers in the U.S. and are partnering with healthcare providers to create new programs for concerns that disproportionately affect our Black+ community, to be in place by 2022. In EMEA, we've launched a new speaker series—RE:EMEA—to localize the conversation on racial equity and increase our understanding of the region’s unique history. And to create community globally, next year we’ll roll out a six-month onboarding program for Black+ Nooglers to help build networks during those first few months at Google.

Attracting new talent and investing in long-term growth of sites 

In June, we committed to improving representation of underrepresented groups at senior levels by 30 percent by 2025. Today, we’re adding a goal to more than double the number of Black+ Googlers at all other levels by 2025. 


We’ll also invest in the long-term growth of U.S. locations that contribute to a high quality of life for Black+ Googlers. Across our sites in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago and New York we’ll aim to add an additional 10,000 Googlers by 2025, including 1,000 new roles by 2021. In global sites, including London, we will continue to focus on recruiting and hiring Black+ Googlers.

Holding ourselves accountable

We’ll hold ourselves accountable for creating an inclusive workplace. As part of our commitment to anti-racism educational programs, we will integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into all of our flagship employee and manager trainings. And moving forward, all VP+ performance reviews will include an evaluation of leadership in support of diversity, equity and inclusion. 


I’ll be sharing progress with Alphabet’s board regularly through transparency reports covering representation, hiring, retention, performance and promotion equity, and we’ll continue to publish our Diversity Annual Report to share this progress with all of you.

Thank you

These efforts represent a significant body of work to address systemic racism and build equity for Black+ Googlers and users for years to come. They would not have happened without the leadership and guidance of hundreds of Googlers, including Melonie and members of our Black Leadership Advisory Group and Black Googler Network—my deepest thanks to all of you. 


The equity we’re working towards internally will help us build better products and continue to support our users, businesses, and communities. This effort is at the heart of our mission to make information accessible to everyone. 


Thanks for the work thus far; we’ll continue to share progress updates.


- Sundar