A new training effort spearheaded by Microsoft will offer free tech training to millions. 'Elevate America', the initiative launched by Microsoft Sunday, aims to give 2 million people during the next two years tech training both online and at regional telecenters.
The online resource is focused on helping users figure out what types of technical skills are required for IT jobs, and provides resources to help acquire these skills. The Web site offers access to several Microsoft online training programs, from very basic (e.g., "How to use the Internet") to much more advanced (e.g., "Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Windows XP Professional").
The programme was announced at the National Governors Association conference in Washington, DC on Sunday. To provide a variety of training, Microsoft will partner with state and local governments. Florida, New York and Washington will be the first states to offer Elevate America courses. California, Colorado, Delaware, Minnesota and Virginia have also expressed their interest.
"Millions of Americans don't have the technology skills needed in today's economy. Through Elevate America, we want to help workers get the skills they need to succeed," Pamela Passman, corporate vice president of Microsoft Global Corporate Affairs, said. "We are also providing a full range of work force development resources for state and local governments so they can offer specialized training for their workers.''
Washington governor Christine Gregoire, taking an opportunity to cheer on the local company, praised Microsoft for stepping up during tough times as what the company is describing (without releasing specific numbers) as "significant cost."
"Elevate America is a great example of Microsoft's leadership on education and workforce development - issues that bring us a step closer to recovery by helping us provide critically important help to our citizens," said Gregoire. "Washington State is pleased to be one of the first states to partner with Microsoft to provide Elevate America to our residents."