Twelve Google employees will spend six months working full-time with the State of Arkansas to boost access to government programs as part of a fellowship backed by Google.org, the search giant’s philanthropic arm, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday.
The project will see the Google staff support the launch of CiviForm — an open-source tool developed at Google that aims to make it faster and easier for state residents to apply to government programs, particularly relating to workforce development. Arkansas will be the first state to deploy the tool, which is already in use in Seattle and other cities.
Google said Google.org fellows will travel to Little Rock in June to work, on a pro-bono basis, with program administrators adopting CiviForm. Arkansans will be able to use CiviForm to apply for multiple state programs at once, saving time and effort, Jake Walker, chief research officer at the state’s Department of Transformation and Shared Services, said in a press release.
“Workforce development is of the utmost importance for the residents of Arkansas, and I am excited to work with Google.org Fellows to make these opportunities easier to access online,” Hutchinson, who leaves office next Tuesday, said in the release.