Google plans to donate $1 billion to nonprofits through its charitable arm, Google.org, with the aim of addressing the gap between the skills required by modern companies and the skills that are taught in schools. Google said it was donating $10 million to Goodwill Industries, for example, for digital job training programs. Company employees also will volunteer one million hours at those nonprofits.
Much like a political campaign, Google will go on the road to spread the message about its new program, it said. In the coming months, company officials will make stops in Indianapolis; Oklahoma City; Lansing, Mich.; and Savannah, Ga.
Google is not the only big tech company that has gone on a charm offensive in recent months. Under fire from President Trump for producing most of its devices in China, Apple announced in May that it was creating a $1 billion fund to invest in advanced manufacturing in the United States. Amazon, another frequent target of Mr. Trump, said in January that it was planning to hire 100,000 new employees over the next 18 months.
And Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s high-profile chief operating officer, made the rounds on Capitol Hill this week, offering explanations to congressional leaders about her company’s role in last year’s election.
Google has long been a leader in research on artificial intelligence, and Mr. Pichai has made it the centerpiece of his company’s plans. Google and its parent company, Alphabet, are leaning on A.I. technology in all manner of products, from new smartphones to self-driving cars. But with that automation comes disruption and concern that breakthroughs may upend entire industries and eliminate millions of jobs, particularly in trucking and transportation.
Pittsburgh is one traditional manufacturing city, however, that could gain from advances in artificial intelligence. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in the city have been on the cutting edge of work on autonomous vehicles, and other big tech outfits like Uber and Amazon also have offices there.
Google has been put under a harsh light over the last year, an unaccustomed spot for a company that has long been one of the tech industry’s most admired outfits and is still considered one of the best places in the world to work.
The European Union levied the largest antitrust fine in history against Google for unfairly favoring its own services over those of its rivals. A group of former employees sued the company, accusing it of paying women less than men. It also suffered an exodus of advertisers from its video platform, YouTube, after evidence that ads appeared next to extremist videos.
More recently, it has been mired in the spreading investigation of Russian interference in the election. Company representatives are expected to speak at House and Senate Intelligence Committee hearings on Nov. 1, along with Facebook and Twitter.