By Dan Levy, VP Global SMB

In November we announced Facebook Community Boost, a program to help small businesses grow and equip people in their communities with digital skills. Our CEO Mark Zuckerberg first shared the announcement at a meeting with small business owners in St. Louis. 

Today, less than 5 months later, we’re back in St. Louis to deliver on his promise of increasing our efforts to support small businesses. But in order to make a lasting impact, we know we can’t do this alone. Which is why we’re partnering with local organizations in every city we visit.

Scaling Digital Skills and Marketing Training for St. Louis 

We’re working to understand the needs of individuals and communities, so that we can personalize our programs. In a recent survey, small businesses and job seekers in the St. Louis community told us that there is a gap between the digital skills they have compared to what they need to succeed:

  • 84% of small business managers believe that digital advertising is an important skill for growing their business, but only 13% of managers rate themselves as excellent in this area.
  • 93% of individuals looking for work in St. Louis say digital skills are important when looking for job, but only 12% rate themselves as excellent in this department.

To help address these gaps, we’re partnering with the Savvy Coders and Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to deliver digital marketing and social media curriculum across the greater St. Louis area.

Scholarships and Workforce Development Through Coding Bootcamps

Additionally, our new Facebook Bootcamp pilot with Claim Academy will fund scholarships for their coding bootcamps, which have a greater than 90% job placement rate for graduates. As part of the program, local companies like Monsanto and Clearent will interview program graduates for entry-level developer positions in their organizations.

We’re also sponsoring the St. Louis launch of LaunchCode’s Discovery Program, a free curriculum for those without a technical background. The St. Louis Public Library will also integrate this free training into their learning programs.

These are just a few of the ways we’re working with the St. Louis community to help small businesses and job seekers gain the skills they need to succeed. We’re excited to continue to listen and learn from local businesses this week.

Upcoming Facebook Community Boost Events

Today, we’re also announcing the next eight US cities where Facebook Community Boost will be held. We’ll announce dates for these cities in the coming weeks.

  • Buffalo, New York
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Hampton, Virginia
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Helena, Montana
  • Denver, Colorado
  • East Palo Alto/Menlo Park, California

Our teams are committed to helping small businesses and their communities across the United States and beyond. Please share your thoughts and stay up to date with the latest city announcements, news and program schedules at facebook.com/communityboost.