REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 1, 1999 — In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and several other organizations, Microsoft Corp. today announced the Microsoft® Skills 2000 Military IT Career Initiative, aimed at recruiting service members making the transition from the military into the growing information technology (IT) industry. Through this collaborative, multicompany initiative, Microsoft and supporting companies will provide a complete set of resources, skills development and job placement services to assist personnel leaving the military through their potential transition to IT.
According to several analyst estimates, the IT industry’s open-job rate currently exceeds the number of trained candidates; the Information Technology Association of America estimates that 346,000 jobs are currently open in the IT industry in the United States alone.
The Microsoft Skills 2000 Military IT Career Initiative builds on the efforts of the Microsoft Skills 2000 initiative and aims to encourage the more than 200,000 service members who leave the military each year to explore IT careers. The initiative will be rolled out to more than 140 military bases nationwide this month. Military personnel can find out more about the potential for IT careers through their base Transition Assistance Program (TAP) workshops.
In addition to Microsoft and the DOL, initiative participants include some of the nation’s largest job placement companies – Manpower Technical, TEKsystems, Adecco/TAD Technical, and Olsten Staffing Services/IMI Systems – as well as military communications resources and financial services such as Army Times Publishing Co. and Servus Financial Corp., respectively.
“I am so pleased that we are making it easier for men and women to get the high-tech skills they need to move successfully from the military to civilian jobs,”
said U.S. Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman.
“Our veterans have proven their dedication and competency. We must now do all we can to ensure that they are successful after having served their country.”
Microsoft and the Department of Labor are focusing their efforts on former military personnel for several reasons:
Typically, military personnel actively look for civilian career opportunities within six months after leaving the armed services.
Many military personnel gain IT expertise during their time in the service; these skills are easily transferred to a civilian IT career.
Military personnel have been trained to take initiative, learn a variety of tasks and solve problems, all of which makes them highly suitable to enter the IT work force.
“Microsoft continues to focus on new audiences in recruiting talent into the IT industry,”
said Sam Jadallah, vice president of the organization customer unit at Microsoft.
“The military provides an exceptional pool of talented, motivated individuals, many of whom are well-suited for IT careers.”
As part of the Microsoft Skills 2000 Military IT Career Initiative, transitioning military personnel – including veterans and retirees, as well as their spouses and dependents – will obtain access to these services:
Career aptitude tool. This is an aptitude test that helps determine what type of IT career best suits an individual and how much training beyond military experience will be needed.
Technical training. Service members will be referred to local Microsoft Certified Technical Education Centers (CTECs) and Authorized Academic Training Program
providers for training that offers the flexibility of online, instructor-led and self-paced technical training options.
Financial assistance. Service members will be able to apply their Montgomery G.I. Bill funding to training expenses and may be able to obtain low-interest-rate loans through the Microsoft Skills 2000 IT Career Loan Program.
Placement services. Placement service experts equipped to provide information on a variety of opportunities will be available to help those in transition.
The Microsoft Skills 2000 initiative, launched in May 1997, aims to significantly address the IT work-force shortage by reaching out to people interested in developing technical careers. Previous initiatives have targeted low-income individuals ages 55 and older and high-school students. More information on the program may be obtained on the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/default.asp?PageID=training & SubSite=itcr .
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