Matthew Neagle (Team Lead) worked with Google in both California and India before moving to Ann Arbor as part of the original landing team. In Ann Arbor, he is currently focused on initiatives in training, recruitment, and community outreach. Prior to Google, Matthew worked for nearly 8 years for AIESEC, a global nonprofit focused on providing leadership and work abroad opportunities for college students and recent graduates. Matthew was President of AIESCE's national office in Panama and was a Director of Operations in Latin America at the global headquarters in the Netherlands. He grew up in Saginaw, Mich. and graduated from the University of Michigan in 2001 with a B.A. in Latin American Studies and a B.S.E. in Industrial and Operations Engineering.
Google & the Community: Helping Michigan in the New Economy
Google's efforts to be a good corporate citizen have been as innovative and bold as its products, whether it be setting up the largest corporate solar panel installation in the world, setting aside $2 billion to Google.org to fight climate change, poverty, and health issues at a global level, or donating money on behalf of employees who self-power commute to work each day.
Google Ann Arbor is also committed to playing its part and has become a role model within Google for its efforts.
To start, our employees are our greatest resource in giving back to the community. We are fortunate to hire people who are civic-minded and proactive about supporting the local community. It is something we look for in our hiring process.
Early on, our employees started self-organizing to support local events and to fundraise both in coordination with the office and in small groups in their free time. Eventually, these efforts organically coalesced into our very own employee-run volunteering group called Google Cares. Each month this group raises money through employee donations (which Google matches) for one local organization and each quarter it organizes an office-wide volunteering event. Through Google Cares, we have supported over a dozen organizations, donated over 1,000 hours of volunteer time, and raised thousands of dollars.
In response to employee interest, Google Cares has also trained over 30 people to serve on non-profit boards, organized a non-profit fair in the office to promote longer-term volunteering opportunities, and set up a mini-grant program to support Googlers who are involved in the community.
Helping Michigan be successful in the new economy
If our employees are our greatest resource, it is our technology that has the greatest potential to have an impact on Michigan. As fellow Metromode guest blogger Tom Meloche highlighted in a recent post, perhaps the biggest benefit of having Google in Michigan is that it may mean more people finally catching on to the powerful tools Google offers.
Preparing Michigan graduates with on-line marketing skills
We want to do our part to help people in Michigan learn important skills that will help them to be successful in the new economy. Last year, a small group of employees had an idea to teach a class on AdWords at Community High in Ann Arbor.The class would provide students with hands-on experience managing a live AdWords account for a non-profit and prepare them to pass the Google Advertising Professional exam. The class is now heading into its third semester.
A student from the class, Alex, has a part-time job after school with Pure Visibility, a local search engine optimization and marketing firm, helping Michigan businesses succeed on-line. These AdWords skills are transferable not just for Alex, but all students who take part in the class and learn that accountability, relevance and timeliness are key metrics driving the success of but any online marketing campaign -- not just an AdWords campaign.
This year, Eastern Michigan University is offering a similar course in collaboration with Google. As more colleges offer these types of classes, more Michigan graduates will be equipped with the skills to help local Michigan businesses reach new customers and successfully grow.
Helping Michigan college students collaborate on-line
Successful graduates in the new economy must also be comfortable – some would say savvy -- in communicating and collaborating on-line. Michael Anuzis, a colleague at Google who will post tomorrow, believes so strongly in this statement that he is on a mission to help students in this region have access to Google Apps, our suite of web-based communication and productivity tools. Thus far, colleges such as Hope, Aquinas, Grand Rapids Community College, and others, have signed on and are offering the Google Apps suite to students, faculty, and alumni... all for free.
Reaching out to Michigan non-profits
We are also reaching out to help Michigan non-profits. We are currently offering nearly $1 million a year in free advertising to over 70 Michigan non-profits who have qualified for Google Grants, our in-kind advertising program run by Google volunteers around the world. Through these grants, these non-profits are able to use AdWords, Google’s timely and relevant online advertising tool, to raise money, attract volunteers, and increase awareness for their issues.
Just as important as in-kind advertising, we also want to help Michigan non-profits to be successful in the new economy. As my colleague John Kelley will highlight in a post Wednesday, a team of Googlers is working on a program to scale training programs for Michigan non-profits on ways to use free Google tools to do things such as advertise online, manage their board, keep their website fresh, and collect payments on-line. Recently, we have partnered with the New Center in Ann Arbor to train their staff on our tools and next month they will be hosting several workshops for their members.
As these programs grow, we believe that we can help Michigan be successful in the new economy, putting the latest online tools in the hands of students, preparing graduates with skills to help Michigan businesses grow, and helping local non-profits better serve their causes. With a little bit of effort, we believe we can make a big difference.