GA announces job training partnership with Microsoft

Press Release

25,900 free Microsoft technology training vouchers to be provided to Georgia citizens

ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue Friday announced that Georgia and Microsoft will combine efforts in a unique, public-private partnership to provide free technology training to displaced workers. The Governor joined Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's Chief Executive Officer, at the Capitol to applaud the initiative titled "Microsoft Elevate America."

"We are excited to join forces with Microsoft in this important initiative. This partnership will provide thousands of Georgians with the education and skills required to succeed in the new economy," Governor Perdue said. "When people obtain the necessary job and technology skills, their quality of life, and the quality of our state workforce, vastly improves."

Microsoft is partnering with the Governor's Office of Workforce Development to distribute a total of 25,900 training vouchers during the next 90 days. Courses range from basic technology literacy to intermediate and advanced level technology skills training. A portion of the vouchers will be issued to Georgia residents for Microsoft Certification Exams, all at no cost to the recipient.

"Our vision for Elevate America is to give Americans the technology training and certification to help them get back to work, "said Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft.  "Many individuals do not possess critical skills needed in today's changing economy. We believe that through a strong partnership with the state of Georgia, the training offered through Elevate America can lead to employment opportunity and ultimately grow Georgia's economy."

Georgia will receive 11,500 vouchers for Microsoft Windows and Office online training, 11,500 vouchers for Microsoft Business Certification Exams, and 2,900 vouchers for advanced technical professional level online training:

• Each training voucher is redeemable for free online training in Microsoft Windows, or one of the programs in the Microsoft Office suite.

• Each certification exam voucher is redeemable for a Microsoft Business Certification Exam.

• Advanced technical professional level vouchers are redeemable for free online training for individuals in technical professional career tracks in areas such as web development or database management.

Any Georgia resident may request and receive a voucher.

The vouchers will be distributed through the Georgia Work Ready Web site through on-line application at ; through participating Workforce Investment Act (WIA) One Stop Centers and select Goodwill locations.

In its role as Microsoft's "designated partner" for administration of Elevate America in the state, the Governor's Office of Workforce Development is responsible for the overall distribution program.

Vouchers will be available to citizens across the state on a first-come, first-served basis starting today through April 22, 2010. Individuals must activate their vouchers for training and complete certification exams within the 90 day period.

Microsoft Vice President Pamela Passman announced the "Microsoft Elevate America" program at the National Governors Association winter meeting in February 2009.

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 designed to provide technology training for up to 2 million people during the next three years. Georgia's participation in the program makes it the tenth state to take part in this groundbreaking initiative.

For additional information regarding the Microsoft vouchers and locations where citizens can obtain a voucher in Georgia, please visit within the "Jobseeker" portion of the site.

Source: Georgia Office of the Governor