Free Microsoft Training and Tech Vouchers Available for VCCS Institutions to Distribute


Published: June 17, 2009

RICHMOND — Governor Timothy M. Kaine has announced that Virginia will join forces with Microsoft in an innovative public-private partnership to provide free technology training to displaced workers. Through the Microsoft Elevate America program, the software and technology giant will work with the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) to distribute 11,250 vouchers for technology training and certification. Elevate America also provides a wide variety of other free resources on its website including basic skills training and career resources to find internships and jobs. (The specially dedicated telephone number set up at Thomas Nelson’s Workforce Development for Elevate America is 865-5874).

“Virginia already has one of the best workforce development systems in the country—this program means we’ll have another exciting tool at our disposal,” said Governor Kaine. “This partnership will provide thousands of Virginians with the technology skills they need to attain and sustain employment as the economy recovers. At the same time, this critical training will ensure Virginia’s workforce emerges from this economic downturn stronger than ever—and ready to compete on a global level.”

Virginia will receive 5,000 vouchers for intermediate level online training, 5,000 vouchers for Microsoft business certification exams, and 1,250 vouchers for advanced technical professional online training:

  • Each intermediate level training voucher can be used for training on Microsoft Windows or one of the products in the Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Each testing voucher can be used for a Microsoft business certification exam, which when passed signifies a student is Microsoft certified in either Windows Vista or a specific Microsoft Office product.
  • Advanced level vouchers are redeemable for training for individuals on technical professional career tracks in areas such as web development or database management.

In its role as Microsoft’s “designated partner” for administration of Elevate America in Virginia, VCCS will work with the Department of Education and Virginia’s workforce centers to distribute 1,500 training vouchers, 1,500 testing vouchers, and 400 advanced level vouchers each. VCCS will retain the remaining vouchers for distribution as needed. Vouchers will be distributed to citizens across the state on a first come, first served basis starting today.

“Today, more than ever, people are looking for an opportunity to gain new, portable skills and training that will help them in their careers or as they look for their next job,” said Dr. Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of VCCS. “Virginia’s community colleges form a natural network for partnering with Microsoft to provide the technology training individuals need to gain a competitive edge.”

Governor Kaine made today’s announcement at the Capital Region Workforce One-Stop Center in south Richmond along with representatives from Microsoft, VCCS, and members of the Virginia Workforce Network.

“Elevate America is designed to equip people with the crucial skills necessary to get a job in today’s competitive workplace,” said Linda Zecher, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector. “We believe this type of public-private partnership will play an important role in rebuilding Virginia’s—and the nation’s—economy by offering immediate access to basic technology literacy and skills training to ultimately improve recipients’ employment prospects.”

Virginia’s participation in the Microsoft’s Elevate America program makes it the second state to take part in this groundbreaking initiative to prepare workers for the demands of a 21st century economy. Washington was the first state to take part in the initiative.

Microsoft announced the “Elevate America” program at the National Governor’s Conference in February. The initiative is expected to provide up to 1 million vouchers nationwide for Microsoft e-Learning courses and select Microsoft certification exams at no or low cost to recipients. The program is a part of Microsoft’s overall efforts to provide technology training for up to 2 million people during the next three years.

Office locations and additional information about obtaining the vouchers are available online at: www.vccs.edu/workforce. To learn more about the Elevate America program, visit: www.microsoft.com/elevateamerica.

06-15-2009



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