New Microsoft Initiative Will Provide Skills Training to American Workers

Posted by Pamela Passman 
Corporate Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs

With unemployment at 7.6% in January and thousands of additional layoffs since then, the economy and jobs are the key issues here at the National Governors Association meetings in DC this weekend. 

During a panel discussion about transforming America’s workforce, I announced a new Microsoft initiative called Elevate America that is designed to give state and local governments the tools and resources they need to provide no-cost or low-cost technology skills training to help get people back to work.  Several states, including Florida, New York and Washington have already partnered with us to make Elevate America available to their citizens.

You can view the complete panel discussion on Transforming the Workforce System here (my comments start at 17:50).

Elevate America will also provide individual workers with a new web portal that will help guide them to free training and resources, available immediately, that can help position them for success in the economy today, and tomorrow.

More than 50 percent of today’s jobs require some technology skills, and experts say that percentage will increase to 77 percent in the next decade.  It’s not just scientists and engineers that need technical skills.  Jobs in every industry at every level need basic proficiency with computers and other digital technologies.  
By providing workers and governments with free and low-cost access to technology training and certifications, Elevate America can help workers succeed in this rapidly changing economy. 
The recently-signed economic stimulus bill will provide some federal support to enhance workforce development.  As we have said before, government cannot and should not do it all.  It is essential that the private sector and government work together in partnership to strengthen America’s workforce.

Comments (6)

  1. Anonymous says:

    It's great that soon 77% of the jobs will require technology skills.  When will someone actually start paying for us that have them?  It's like we work magic, not that we've acquired skills that allow us to create the perception we work magic.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    Otis: I suggest all tech personnel immediately adopt the attire of black tuxedo, top hat and cane. Doves and rabbits optional.    When we are ready to announce the issue has been resolved, we should shout out "shazam," and/or afterward "ta-da!"

  3. Anonymous says:

    I like that. I will use that the next few times I fix something at a users desk, etc.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I welcome an open dialog with Bill Gates on the issues at hand as this country is in crisis.      Pete Bennett   925-705-1812     remember the americans who have given the ultimate sacrafice in battle or at home so that you can all your friends live in safety and in peace

  5. Anonymous says:

    We are a Microsoft Dynamics Certified Partner located in east Los Angeles.  We serve Bellflower, Compton and surrounding areas.    As we will be obtaining the Microsoft Dynamics Certified Trainer authorization on May 18th, 2009 – at that time we would like to volunteer our services to provide the training assistance needed to 'Elevate America'.    How can we help, we are from Compton and we would like to start there.    Sheri Ibbotson  President  Automated Data Systems (adatasys)  (562) 345-5005  

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s not just scientists and engineers that need technical skills.  Jobs in every industry at every level need basic proficiency with computers and other digital technologies.