Oakland Digital

Region of Impact
United States
Total funding
$600,000
Funding began in
2015
Focus
Economic Opportunity

Overview

Real-world digital training for students via an online hiring platform

What they do

Oakland Digital’s online hiring platform connects low income, under resourced students with real world technology and design opportunities generated by businesses and nonprofits.

The project started with two statistics: that 70% of students in California’s community colleges dropped out prior to graduation and that upwards of 80% of local mom and pop businesses failed, primarily due to a lack of technology and digital marketing know-how.

Recognizing that professional opportunities today favor the digitally literate and are increasingly found through the gig economy, Oakland Digital aims to address this problem head on with a design studio that offers social branding, digital marketing, and design assistance to entrepreneurs, small businesses, government organizations, and nonprofits.

But what’s really interesting is who executes these projects: community college design students, overseen by industry mentors. Oakland Digital’s BRIDGEGOOD hiring platform pairs early stage creatives (designers, photographers, illustrators) with business owners and nonprofits that need design or marketing expertise. Up to eight students can apply for the chance to tackle the project.

To date, Oakland Digital has worked with 4,500 entrepreneurs and Bay Area students, contributing more than $3.6 million to the local economy. By sponsoring these opportunities, Oakland Digital gives students a paycheck, a chance to try out their skills in the real world, and the opportunity to develop strong portfolios... all while helping their community thrive.

How we're helping

Google.org’s contributions to Oakland Digital have included a multi-year, six figure grant, state-of-the-art technology devices, Googler developer volunteer hours, and the use of Google’s San Francisco coworking space for ongoing collaboration. Google.org’s donations are also being used to design, build, launch, and scale the BRIDGEGOOD platform in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Project gallery

A diagram of the digital design process, showing several steps.
Three woman discuss technology and design in a coffee shop.

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