Microsoft’s Elevate America Initiative Launches in State of California

Editor’s note – March 11, 2010 –
Details in the article have been clarified to better differentiate between the launch of Elevate America in California and Elevate America’s Veterans Initiative.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 10, 2010 — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced today the launch of Microsoft’s Elevate America initiative in the state of California. The Elevate America program, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, aims to provide technology training that prepares people for 21st-century jobs.

“Technology can be a tremendous catalyst for economic growth and individual opportunity, but technology alone is not the answer,” said Dan’l Lewin, corporate vice president of Strategic and Emerging Business Microsoft. “It needs to be part of a holistic approach that requires effective public-private partnerships. We need the commitment, the resources and the expertise of governments, schools, community organizations, as well as the private companies. The launch of Elevate America in California is a perfect example of the impact we can have when we combine our efforts.”

Joining Gov. Schwarzenegger and Lewin in announcing the Elevate America initiative in California were Victoria Bradshaw, Secretary State of California, Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and other officials and guests.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announces the launch of Microsoft’s Elevate America initiative in the state of California. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Dan’l Lewin is pictured the background. Mountain View, Calif. March 10, 2010.

In California, Microsoft will distribute 166,500 vouchers good for Microsoft eLearning courses and Microsoft certification exams. According to information provided by other participating states, more than half of the people who received vouchers took the next step by beginning a training course or taking a certification exam.

That training could lead to a bright future. Bureau of Labor statistics indicate that in five years, more than 75 percent of all jobs in the United States will require at least a basic level of technology skills. The Elevate America initiative provides workers with immediate access to no-cost and low-cost tools, technology training and certification exams they need to meet the demands of employers and jobs in today’s changing economy – particularly important in California, which has a 12.5 percent unemployment rate. People interested in obtaining vouchers can go to their local workforce center to apply.

Also on Monday, Pamela Passman, corporate vice president of Global Corporate Affairs for Microsoft, announced Elevate America’s Veterans Initiative, which brings together public, private and nonprofit organizations to provide veterans and their spouses with skills training and help them find employment in today’s challenging job market. Microsoft will contribute US$2 million in cash and up to $6 million in software over the next two years to this program.

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