Fulfilling our Pledge to Bolster America’s Workforce

Posted by Pamela Passman 
Corporate Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs

Today marks an important milestone in Microsoft’s effort to provide technology training to at least two million people over the next three years.

At the downtown Seattle office of WorkSource, a public-private partnership dedicated to addressing Washington state's employment needs, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith and I joined Washington Governor Chris Gregoire to announce that Microsoft will provide 30,000 vouchers for free technology training and certification exams to individuals across the state.

This makes Washington the debut state for Elevate America, which we are in the process of rolling out across the country.

As I blogged in February, Elevate America is a new Microsoft initiative that will -- over the next three years -- provide at least two million people with the technology training needed to succeed in the 21st-century economy.  Working in partnership with state agencies, the program offers immediate access to basic technology literacy and skills training via our Web site.  Elevate America also provides vouchers for intermediate and higher level training and Microsoft business certifications that will improve recipients’ employment prospects for years to come.

Beginning today, Washington residents can request and access vouchers at locations designated by Washington State Employment Security and at WorkSource offices statewide.  For additional information, including specific locations and contact information, go to www.go2worksource.com.

If you live in other parts of the country, the Elevate America Web site will keep you apprised of our progress introducing the program in other regions and will provide contact information if you have additional questions.

We’d love to hear your feedback on the program, so please leave a comment if you want to share your thoughts.

Comments (6)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am eagerly awaiting for Elevate America to come to Georgia. I've been out of work for eight months, and I desperately need to update my certifications.     Thank you Microsoft for addressing a major issue in getting Americans back to work.

  2. Anonymous says:

    As a former adjunct prof of Microcomputer Applications (Linfield College), I can tell you that once folks overcome their hesitation and fear, learning about today's technology will truly transform their lives. Elevate is the perfect word for it. Although we are in a temporary economic slump, we will learn much from this time, and with the help of companies with vision, like Microsoft, we will emerge stronger, and will be a better focused, wiser society. Thank you, Microsoft – you will be hearing more from me, I'd like to help! I live in Portland, and have been selling real estate – I have been thinking about returning to teaching and training, and this may be just the impetus and vehicle I need. I'd love to help out.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am also eager to see if Elevate America will be coming to Wisconsin.  I've been unemployed for over a year & desperately need to obtain some certifications to make myself more marketable.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Please email me information on who to reach for Elevate America. I work for the Alaska Dept. of Labor and even Microsoft's own staff could not direct me toward who I need to reach to see about our state's opportunity to utilize the voucher program. I had to sign up for Twitter and unfortunately am not a frequent user so I have no clue how to contact the appropriate personnel. Please email me contact info at Nicole.Skeek@alaska.gov

  5. Anonymous says:

    When will it be available in New York?

  6. Anonymous says:

    MicroSoft comes thru again to help raise the Technical level of America.  THANK YOU MICROSOFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  MicroSoft launched the DreamSpark program in 2008 and now this. WOW what an organization to strive to help fellow Americans raise their level of Technical ingenuity.  THANK YOU AGAIN MICROSOFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am unemployed in the state of Arizona and hope that the state will join soon.  

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