REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 9, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of new resources for veterans as part of its Elevate America veterans initiative to help veterans and their spouses get the technology skills and certifications they need to be successful in today’s civilian workforce.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, October’s unemployment report showed that although the overall unemployment rate last month improved slightly, the unemployment rate rose to 12.1 percent among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans (compared with 8.4 percent for nonveterans).
Working with the U.S. Department of Labor in a liaison role, Microsoft is distributing vouchers that will enable veterans to obtain, at no cost, select e-learning and certification for Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010, leading to a Microsoft Office Specialist certification or select technical professional level e-learning and certification. Vouchers will be available in the five communities in the United States with the highest number of returning post-9/11-era veterans and distributed in partnership with local workforce areas, including the following:
Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (Wash.)
San Diego Workforce Partnership (Calif.)
Houston-Galveston Area Council (Texas)
Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board (Va.)
First Coast Workforce Development/WorkSource Florida (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Each area will receive 1,000 vouchers per year for two years, totaling 10,000 vouchers. In addition, Microsoft is providing in-person support to ensure veterans and their spouses are successful in their training and certification, and the local workforce areas will help connect the veterans and their spouses to potential employers in their area. Veterans can find more information about resources available from Microsoft, including specific locations where the vouchers will be distributed, at http://www.microsoft.com/veterans.
“Veterans have served our country bravely, have superb military training, and have developed valuable leadership, management and diplomatic skills,” said Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president, Microsoft. “We hope that by providing additional access to training and other employment resources, we will help close the opportunity divide for more of our servicemen and women, as well as their spouses, who have also made great sacrifices.”
The new voucher program complements other resources Microsoft is currently providing to veterans and their spouses through cash and software investments provided to nonprofit partners located in San Diego; Bellevue, Wash.; Charlotte, N.C.; New York; Panama City, Fla.; and Worcester, Mass. With the new voucher program, Microsoft’s investment in supporting veterans through the Elevate America veterans initiative now totals $12 million in cash, products and other services.
“In today’s competitive high-tech economy, specialized training is often a prerequisite for employment,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, U.S. Department of Labor. “But if you can provide technical support for our war fighters in the Middle East, you can support business IT systems when you come home. Today’s announcement is an important step to ensure that our returning heroes have access to the training and certifications they need to land good jobs.”
“Transitioning from the service to civilian life is really hard, especially in this job climate,” said Corey Lewis, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and participant in the Microsoft Elevate America veterans initiative. “The resources provided by the Elevate America veterans initiative give veterans the boost they need to have a successful career when they return home.”
Microsoft is also giving veterans and military service members a 10 percent discount off selected items in Microsoft Stores across the country.*
More information on Elevate America, including resources available for veterans, is available at http://www.microsoft.com/veterans.
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*Available for active or retired military personnel with a valid government-issued ID. Only applies to eligible products and while supplies last. Discount applies before taxes, shipping and other fees. Not valid on previous orders. Offer cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash, or combined with any other offer or promotion. Available in-store only and not online. Limit one per person. Not valid for resellers. Expires Dec. 31, 2012.
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