Mountain View, CA--Microsoft and the state of California have partnered to launch a program called Elevate America, which aims to provide free technology training for people interested 21st-century jobs.
California will receive 166,500 vouchers to distribute to residents for free, online technology training and certification in Microsoft programs.
"Creating jobs and boosting California's economy is my number one priority," said the Gov. Anorld Schwarzenegger during the press conference announcing th program. "These free training vouchers will enhance the technology skills of thousands of Californians, and make them more competitive in the job market."
Three different vouchers will be distributed from Microsoft: General e-Learning vouchers, which are redeemable for online training on Microsoft Windows Vista or Microsoft Office Suite program. IT Professional Learning vouchers are redeemable for customers who are IT professionals interested in acquiring advanced level skills in areas such as web development or database management. Microsoft Certification Exam vouchers are for workers to become certified in one Microsoft program such as Excel, Word or Outlook.
Vouchers will be distributed through the state's Employment Development Department.
Microsoft's Elevate America program was launched in February 2009.
On Monday, vice president of Global Corporate Affairs for Microsoft, Pamela Passman announced that the company will launch a veteran initiative to provide veterans and their spouses acquire the skill necessary for today's job market. The company plans to contribute $2 million in cash, and up to $6 million in software over the next two years to this program.
"Technology can be a tremendous catalyst for economic growth and individual opportunity, but technology alone is not the answer," said Dan'l Lewin, vice president for Strategic and Emerging Business Microsoft. "It needs to be part of a holistic approach that requires effective public-private partnerships."
More information is available at www.microsoft.com.