State, Microsoft team up to offer free online technology training

State, Microsoft team up to offer free online technology training

SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski today announced the state will partner with Microsoft to provide free online technology training to Oregonians who are out of work and looking for opportunities to improve their computer skills. Microsoft will provide the state with more than 16,000 vouchers for eligible Oregonians. 

“This public-private partnership will provide Oregonians with the opportunity to learn the skills needed for twenty-first century jobs,” said Governor Kulongoski. “I would like to personally thank Microsoft for their generosity during this difficult time.”

Under Microsoft’s Elevate America initiative, Oregon will receive 16,875 vouchers for online training, online testing, and for more advanced level training:

  • Each training voucher is redeemable for free, online training on one Microsoft Windows Vista or of the programs in the Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Each testing voucher is redeemable for a Microsoft Business Certification Exam.
  • Advanced level online training vouchers are redeemable for training for individuals on technical professional career tracks in areas such as web development or database management.

WorkSource Oregon, the state’s workforce system, will administer the Elevate America program in Oregon. Eligible participants must be unemployed and registered with WorkSource Oregon. Vouchers will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis for those eligible.

Oregonians can find out how to access the program by going online or by visiting their local WorkSource Oregon Center.

Microsoft announced the “Elevate America” program at the National Governor’s Association Winter Conference 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, part of Microsoft’s overall Unlimited Potential efforts to improve social and economic opportunities for people, will provide technology training for up to two million people during the next three years.