Microsoft Extends Technology Access to Latino Communities

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 6, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today will announce three donations aimed at increasing technology access, education and training for Latino communities in San Francisco and across the United States. These grants, totaling more than $1 million in cash and software, continue Microsoft’s commitment to help bridge the
“digital divide” the gap between those with access to information technology and those without — and extend the company’s efforts to cultivate a more diversified work force for the technology industry.

The grant recipients include the Digital Mission, a San Francisco-based nonprofit agency that offers computer access, technical training and job placement services to low-income residents of the predominately Latino Mission District; the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, an organization that improves access to and the quality of postsecondary educational opportunities for Hispanic students; and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the largest Hispanic scholarship-granting organization in the nation.

Microsoft’s Orlando Ayala, senior vice president of sales and support for the Americas and South Pacific Region, is scheduled to be joined today by San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and other Bay area dignitaries for the announcement, which will take place at the Arriba Juntos facility in San Francisco’s Mission District.

“Today Microsoft provides another example of the outstanding city/private partnership necessary to ensure that Mission residents benefit from San Francisco’s high-tech boom,”
said Brown.

Microsoft is funding these particular organizations as part of a more comprehensive effort to ensure that Latinos keep pace with the technology revolution. From technology access and training to career development and job placement, Latinos have less access to technology than Anglos. According to a recent Commerce Department study (
“Falling Through the Net: Defining the Digital Divide”
), the access gap between Anglo and Latino households has grown significantly. The study concluded that Latino households are roughly half as likely to own a computer as Anglo households and only 40% as likely to use the Internet.

“Technology access is a critical component for a successful future not only in IT careers, but in almost any career today,”
said Ayala.
“Helping to close the digital divide is a priority at Microsoft and an effort that requires attention from all sectors. We are proud to work hand-in-hand with these organizations to provide greater technology access and opportunities for Latinos across the nation.”

These initiatives will lead to real skills and jobs for a wide range of people, including high school students, welfare-to-work participants and those pursuing college degrees. The following are details on each of the grants:

  • Digital Mission. This San Francisco organization offers technology training and job placement services to residents of the predominately Latino Mission District. Microsoft is supporting the Digital Mission through the company’s Connected Learning Community grant program. Through the CLC program, Microsoft seeks to enhance learning and communication in disadvantaged communities across the nation by expanding access to information technology. Arriba Juntos will use the $91,000 grant to purchase new computers for students and fund staffing of its technology center. The donation also includes Microsoft® software to be used for training and educational purposes.

  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. The mission of HACU is to provide greater postsecondary educational opportunities to Hispanic students. Microsoft is donating $300,000 in cash and more than $1 million in software* to five Hispanic-serving institutions (defined as colleges and universities where Hispanic-Americans make up 25 percent or more of the student body) to increase technology access for students. The five universities will be competitively selected by HACU and announced in January 2000.

  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund. HSF is the largest Hispanic scholarship-granting organization in the nation, recognizing and rewarding outstanding Hispanic students in higher education throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Microsoft is awarding $57,500 to the HSF for a new program that will fund new scholarships and find and attract to Microsoft the best and brightest Hispanic graduates.

Created in 1983, Microsoft’s community affairs program is one of the first philanthropic efforts in the high-tech industry. The company’s worldwide charitable efforts are aimed at increasing access to technology for disadvantaged communities and supporting community organizations in the areas of education, human services, civic development, the arts and the environment. Last year, Microsoft gave more than $25 million in cash and $79 million in software* to more than 5,000 nonprofit organizations.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

*Software donations based on estimated retail prices.

Microsoft is a registered trademark 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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