Facebook selects Baltimore to host entrepreneurship program

Facebook has selected Baltimore as one of the host cities for its Community Boost program, a free digital training program for small businesses, entrepreneurs and job seekers.

Community Boost, which Facebook announced last November, will take place Nov. 12 through Nov. 14 in a location in the city to be announced later. It will include a series of free seminars and workshops designed to help businesses develop digital skills and use Facebook more effectively as a marketing tool.

Facebook said on its website that it plans to expand Community Boost by visiting 50 U.S. cities by the end of the year. The social media platform said it has partnered with and trained more than 60 organizations in 12 cities and plans to start new alliances, including teaming up with community colleges to offer digital marketing training.

The company said it expects to train 1 million business owners or job seekers by 2020.

“According to recent predictions, the skilled labor shortage in America could create 85.2 million unfilled jobs by 2030,” Facebook said in its announcement. “We are committed to helping reverse the skills gap in America by giving individuals and companies the tools they need to flourish in an increasingly digital economy.”

In Maryland, Facebook found that more than eight in 10 businesses looking for workers ranked digital skills as important. Research by Morning Consult and co-sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Facebook found that nearly two-thirds of small businesses in the state consider Facebook “an essential tool” that helps them find customers in other cities, states or countries.

Businesses, entrepreneurs and job-seekers that want to participate in Baltimore can sign up about a month ahead of the event.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

twitter.com/lmirabella

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