Microsoft Announces Work-Force Development Grant to Green Thumb

Microsoft Announces Work-Force Development Grant to Green Thumb

WASHINGTON, April 30, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a $350,000 grant to Green Thumb Inc., a national nonprofit organization, to work with private industry councils nationwide to develop information technology (IT) training programs that will provide thousands of seniors, dislocated workers and disadvantaged individuals with skills for IT careers. The effort is part of the Microsoft® Skills 2000 initiative aimed at addressing the IT work-force shortage by recruiting and training new people for jobs in the IT industry.

Last month, with a grant awarded to Green Thumb from the U.S. Department of Labor, Green Thumb and Microsoft launched pilot projects in three cities to train low-income seniors for IT jobs. Today’s $350,000 grant by Microsoft enables Green Thumb to build on and replicate the pilot projects by launching IT training with private industry councils nationwide. In addition to expanding the number of training sites, funds will be used to serve an expanded population including older workers, dislocated workers, welfare participants and other individuals with barriers to employment.

“All Americans possess certain skills and life experiences that make them valuable to the work force in today’s global economy,”
said Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman.
“It is in the economic self-interest of business to tap into that. At the Department of Labor, we understand the value of all workers, which is why we are proud to team up with Green Thumb and Microsoft to invest in the Microsoft Skills 2000 initiative to help train older workers, dislocated workers and disadvantaged workers to get the skills and training they need for good jobs in the computer industry. This is a win-win.”

The Microsoft grant will significantly enhance the services that Green Thumb offers by providing private industry councils and their clients with high-quality, cost-effective training,”
said Andrea J. Wooten, president of Green Thumb.
“This training will achieve two main goals: It will respond to the growing need of the business community for skilled IT workers, and it will provide individuals with the training and related assistance that they need to secure good-paying jobs. We hope that other companies and organizations will see the benefit and join in a national effort to provide disadvantaged individuals with the skills they need to enter the IT industry.”

“Technology services is a vital part of our nation’s economy, and there are tremendous work-force opportunities in this dynamic and growing industry,”
said Sam Jadallah, a vice president at Microsoft.
“IT opportunities should be broadly available to all individuals, and we’re very pleased to work with Green Thumb to bring technical training to people who might not otherwise have access to it.”

Productivity Point International (PPI) Inc., a Microsoft Authorized Technical Education Center, will work with Green Thumb to design and deliver the training courses in most locations. Green Thumb will then work with local private industry councils to implement the IT training programs and place trained individuals with companies in positions such as help-desk support specialist and network administrator.

Starting a New Career

Bill Richards of Rancho Cordova, Calif., thought the Green Thumb and Microsoft training pilot in Sacramento sounded like a great way to get back into the work force. At age 58 and living on a limited income, he considered himself retired until signing up with the Green Thumb and Microsoft program a few months ago.

Today, Richards is enrolled in a six-week program, taught by PPI, studying the Windows® 95 operating system, PC hardware and administration of the Windows NT® Server operating system version 4.0. The course will provide him with skills in Windows NT Workstation and Windows NT Server to prepare him to become a Microsoft Certified Professional as well as earn CompTIA’s A+ Certification, all of which will give him a competitive edge for entry-level positions in the IT industry.

“I was always interested in going back to work, but felt I needed a marketable skill,”
Richards said.
“Now I will have the skills needed to begin a second career working in one of the fastest growing and most exciting industries in the country – information technology.”

For More Information

For further information about Green Thumb or to be considered for future training classes, please visit its Web site at ( (media representatives can find additional information at ( ) or send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Green Thumb Inc., Attention: Information Technology, 2000 N. 14th St., Suite 800, Arlington, Va. 22201. More information on Microsoft training and certification programs is available at & SubSite=itcr .

Green Thumb’s mission is to strengthen families, communities and the nation by providing older and disadvantaged individuals with opportunities to learn, work and serve others. Founded in 1965, Green Thumb is best known as America’s oldest and largest provider of mature worker employment and training services. The organization has expanded its services to bring work-force opportunities to more than 40,000 mature workers, dislocated workers, welfare participants and adults with special needs in 44 states and Puerto Rico.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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