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Microsoft Awards Elevate America Community Initiative Grants

REDMOND, Wash. Feb. 3, 2011 $5 million $10 million the United States

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO

In today’s technology-driven economy, finding a job without strong technology skills and during a tough economic downturn can be extremely difficult. To help ease this burden, through its Elevate America community initiative, Microsoft is partnering with nonprofit organizations that provide technology access and skills training in their local communities to help people find employment. The company is placing a special focus on underserved communities, including women and young workers (ages 18–25) who have greater barriers to employment and re-employment than the broader population.

Women are often at a disproportionate disadvantage in the workforce. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Health &Human Services, almost 60 percent of all low-wage workers are female compared with 44 percent of higher wage workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also notes women’s re-employment rate is roughly 6 percent lower than men’s. In addition, young workers also see a disproportionate disadvantage in the workforce as compared with the broader population. According to the Economic Policy Institute, young adults represent 13.5 percent of the workforce but account for 26.4 percent of unemployed workers.*

These grants will help fund a comprehensive set of resources to help people be successful in today’s workplace, including career counseling, technology skills training, job placement, and additional support services such as childcare and transportation. The following organizations were selected through a competitive funding process to receive the cash and in-kind grants:

  • Bridgeport, Conn.
  • New York
  • Boston
  • Venice, Fla.
  • Erie Chicago
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Minneapolis
  • San Francisco San Mateo Marin San Francisco
  • Los Angeles
  • Oakland, Calif.
  • Spokane, Wash.
  • San Jose, Calif.

Through these grants, Microsoft expects to reach more than 16,000 people in the next two years.

The organizations selected have demonstrated how their approach to providing people with technology and job training resources can be scaled at the end of the two years, with the goal of creating replicable models to expand to additional communities.

Pamela Passman

Microsoft will also offer software donations to each of the 300 organizations that applied to the Elevate America community initiative grant process to recognize and support the important work they are doing to help people across the country find jobs.

"Microsoft and its Elevate America program have enabled TransAccess to greatly increase our ability to help youth and adults with disabilities gain access to technology, employment preparation and life skills," said Maria Nicolacoudis, executive director, TransAccess. "Microsoft’s support and leadership has made a direct and meaningful impact to help people with disabilities in our community successfully graduate from high school and college and go on to attain meaningful careers and a lifetime of independence."

http://www.microsoft.com/ElevateAmerica

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/bp258

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

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