By Morgan Bryce
Associate Editor

Providing job-seeking individuals and small business owners with the knowledge to succeed in today’s digitally driven world is the goal of the “Grow with Google” tour, which will make a stop at Opelika’s Lewis Cooper Jr. Memorial Library Aug. 8.

Grow with Google is a nationwide initiative launched by Google CEO Sundar Pichai last October as a way to help Americans keep up with the rapid pace and advancement of technology.

“Grow with Google is there to give anyone in America the tools and training they need to get a job, for free. We understand there’s uncertainty and even concern about the pace of technological change,” Pichai said in an Oct. 12, 2017 Google blog post. “But we know that technology will be an engine of America’s growth for years to come.”

Opelika is one of three Alabama cities selected for this tour, along with Birmingham Aug. 6 and Scottsboro Aug. 10.

Google’s Community Engagement Director Erica Swanson said the company has a vested interest in Alabama and its citizens, helping generate more than $700 million of economic activity in the state in 2017.

“We know that there’s a large base of Alabamians using our tools and resources already. In April this year, we also broke ground on a data center in Jackson County,” Swanson said. “So that, along with Grow with Google, becomes an extension of our commitment to Alabama.”

The free, all-day event will feature hour-long workshops and 1-on-1 sessions taught by Google team members, presenters and coaches to individuals representing all knowledge and skill sets.

Workshop subjects include coding, online safety and improving online presence, and individuals can learn how to use Google Analytics, Calendar, Spreadsheet and more during the 1-on-1 sessions.

“Cooper Library and the City of Opelika are thrilled to be partnering with Grow with Google to offer the community an opportunity to learn more about the digital tools available to them. Learning and feeling comfortable with new technology is essential in today’s complex and ever-expanding digital marketplace,” said Library Director Rosanna McGinnis.

Opelika Chamber of Commerce President Pam Powers-Smith said she believes it will benefit many of the businesses under her organization’s umbrella.

“We’re excited that Grow with Google has chosen Opelika to bring this great resource, and we hope our businesses use this opportunity to dig a little deeper and take that next step in improving their marketing skills in several different ways,” Powers-Smith said.

The event will be held from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the library, which is located at 200 S. 6th St.
Pre-registration is required to attend this event. For more information or to fill out registration forms, visit