Google is coming to Wichita to offer you free tech training

The Grow with Google digital skills training event held May 2 in Columbia, S.C., drew more than 500 people.
The Grow with Google digital skills training event held May 2 in Columbia, S.C., drew more than 500 people. Google

Google wants to teach you the basics of computer coding, search engine optimization and how to make spreadsheets.

And it's free.

Grow with Google will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 30 at Wichita State University's Hughes Metroplex at 29th and Oliver.

There, the Mountain View, Calif.-based technology giant will hold six hour-long workshops on skills such as coding basics, using data to grow a business and search engine optimization. Google also will offer one-on-one coaching on use of its software and set up interactive stations demonstrating the use of its online tools.

There's no cost and it's open to anyone who wants to attend. Register at

Stephen Brokaw, Google community engagement manager who is organizing the Wichita event, said the event is aimed at "creating economic opportunity for Americans" by giving them digital skills.

Wichita is the eighth city where a Grow with Google event has been held since the initiative's launch in October. The other cities were Cleveland; Columbia, S.C.; Indianapolis; Lansing, Mich.; Louisville, Ky.; Oklahoma City; and Savannah, Ga.

"When we're looking at cities, we want to go where they are on the move, where there's a lot of momentum," said Brokaw, who visited Wichita earlier this month.

Brokaw said dozens of Google employees — the company calls them "Googlers" — will serve as coaches and lead the workshops.

He said there's no limit on how many people can attend. "Our hope is that hundreds and hundreds of Wichitans come throughout the day."

Keith Lawing, CEO of the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas, said he'll be there "because technology is so ubiquitous in society and Google has a brand name that is so well recognized and we are trying to help job seekers understand all the tools out there."

"I appreciate their corporate responsibility they're displaying."

The Workforce Alliance is one of 20 community organizations partnering with Google for the Wichita event. Those partners also include WSU, the Create Campaign, Goodwill Industries of Kansas and the Wichita Public Library.

"Wichita is home to so many collaborative local organizations whose mission is to help residents take advantage of the digital economy," Brokaw said. "Google is glad to aid that effort."

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark