Elevate America Initiative Provides Tech Training to Massachusetts Residents

Microsoft’s Elevate America initiative launches in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with 26,000 free technology training vouchers. From left, Rosemary Alexander, JobNet Career Center Director; Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick; Microsoft Vice President of State and Local Government Gail Thomas Flynn; Tonya Tocci, Boston resident and job seeker; and Joanne F. Goldstein, Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development.

BOSTON – March 31, 2010 – Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick today joined Microsoft Vice President of State and Local Government Gail Thomas Flynn to announce the launch of Elevate America in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Under the program, Microsoft will provide 26,000 vouchers for free technology training and certification to residents in Massachusetts.

“This public-private partnership is exactly the kind of innovative program we need to help our workforce advance,” said Governor Patrick. “Massachusetts residents will benefit from the opportunity to strengthen their computer skills as we continue lead the way in businesses that rely heavily upon technology.”

Elevate America is part of Microsoft’s overall Unlimited Potential efforts to provide technology training for at least 2 million people across the United States over the next three years. Microsoft has made one million vouchers available for technology training and certification through 15 states, including: California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and now Massachusetts.

Gail Thomas Flynn, Microsoft vice president of state and local government, explains that Elevate America is a program intended to help people develop or enhance their skills to meet the demands of the current job market. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (right) was on hand to announce the launch in the Bay State.

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, which 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.

“Elevate America adds to the range of resources available to people who are looking to develop or enhance their skills to meet the demands of the current job market,” said Thomas Flynn. “At Microsoft, we believe that this type of public-private partnership is playing an integral role in building the economy of states and localities across the country, making available the technology training that can expand employment opportunity for many.”

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