We believe that Google only succeeds when others do. So whenever we’re expanding a local office or breaking ground on a data center, we think about how we can invest in the community as a whole. That includes the people who live in the community, the teachers and students in the local schools and the small businesses that form the backbone of the local economy. To help drive this work, two years ago we launched our Grow with Google initiative to ensure that the opportunities created by technology are truly available to everyone. Since then, we’ve formed partnerships and introduced programs to create economic opportunity for people in all 50 states and around the world.
Today I was thrilled to be able to return to one of those states—Texas—where Google has been operating since 2007. In June, we announced a series of new investments to expand our presence in Austin and broke ground on a new data center in Midlothian as part of our $13 billion investment in data center and office expansions across the U.S. We’ve also made recent investments to expand our offices in Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Minnesota and Massachusetts, and data centers in Virginia and Nebraska.
In addition to growing our footprint in communities across the U.S., we’re making investments in America’s workers. This morning we visited El Centro College in Dallas to announce the expansion of our Google IT Support Professional Certificate program. The program is currently offered at 30 community colleges and will be available for students in 100 community colleges throughout the U.S. by the end of 2020.
For many people, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate is the first step to getting a well-paying job in a high-growth field. (As proof of the fast growth, when we first announced the certificate in 2017, there were 150,000 open IT jobs in the U.S. Now there are closer to 215,000.) We’ve also created a consortium of employers who are eager to hire these graduates.
More than 5.7 million students are enrolled in U.S. community colleges—40 percent of whom are the first in their families to attend college. These schools play a vital role in creating economic opportunities for the people they serve, and we're excited to be a part of that with the IT Support Professional Certificate program.
While in Texas today, we were joined by Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump to talk about Google’s commitment to providing Americans with skills training through Grow with Google. Google is proud to join more than 350 other American companies in signing the White House’s “Pledge to America’s Workers,” and committing to training more than 250,000 Americans to help them prepare for new jobs.
We’re also helping small businesses to succeed and thrive. In 2018, Google helped provide $335 billion of economic activity for more than 1.3 million businesses, website publishers and nonprofits nationwide, including $20.8 billion of economic activity in Texas alone. Today we met with several of these businesses to hear how they’ve used Google products and services to grow and export their goods to customers around the world.
Peacock Alley is a small textile business based in Dallas. Its founder Mary Ella Gabler has used Google Ads for more than 15 years, which has enabled the company to sell its bedding direct to consumers and grow exponentially. We also met the founders of an app that connects salon and barbershop owners to customers where 30 percent of users found the app via Google Ads. And we talked with the owner of a commercial kitchen cleaning company who attracts 90 percent of his customers with Google Ads in English and Spanish.
To help more businesses like this succeed, Google.org will be making a $10 million pledge to help low-income and underrepresented entrepreneurs start new businesses via access to training and capital. The first grant will be a $2 million contribution to the American Library Association to support entrepreneurship centers at libraries in 10 states and help libraries across the country to develop new offerings for small business creators.
From small business partnerships to education initiatives, we continue to make it a priority to invest in the communities where we live and work, and beyond.