Maryland, Microsoft to Provide Free Technology Training to Displaced Workers

State to provide 13,500 vouchers to the citizens of Maryland for free technology training

BALTIMORE (October 14, 2009) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that Maryland will join forces with Microsoft in an innovative, public-private partnership to provide free technology training to displaced workers. The Governor joined Mayor Sheila Dixon, Maryland Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Alexander Sanchez, and Fred Humphries, Microsoft Managing Director, US Government Affairs at the Baltimore Eastside Career Center to applaud the unique partnership labeled “Microsoft Elevate America.”

“This partnership will provide thousands of people in Maryland with the workforce education that is necessary to come through this recession,” said Governor O’Malley. “Giving people the important job and technology proficiencies to succeed will help to boost our state’s employment and improve the quality of our world class workforce. We are excited to work with Microsoft on such an important program.”

In Maryland, Microsoft has partnered with the state’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation to distribute a total of 13,500 training vouchers statewide during the next 90 days to the state’s One-Stop Career Centers, local community college system and the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Rehabilitative Services. Courses range from basic technology literacy to intermediate-level technology skills. A portion of the vouchers will be issued to Maryland residents for Microsoft Certification Exams all at no cost to the recipient.

“Elevate America is a powerful program for people who need crucial skills essential to obtain employment in today’s competitive workplace,” said Fred Humphries, Microsoft Managing Director, US Government Affairs. “We at Microsoft believe that this type of public-private partnership plays an integral role in rebuilding Maryland - and the nation’s economy - through access to technology training that can open doors to employment opportunity.”

Maryland will receive 6,000 vouchers for Microsoft Windows and Office online training, 6,000 vouchers for Microsoft Business Certification Exams, and 1,500 vouchers for advanced technical professional level online training:

-- Each training voucher is redeemable for free online training in Microsoft Windows Vista, 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 Maryland resident may request and receive a voucher. The vouchers will be distributed through the state’s One-Stop Career Centers and its partners, community colleges, the Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Department of Human Resources. In its role as Microsoft’s “designated partner” for administration of Elevate America in Maryland, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is responsible for the overall statewide distribution program. Vouchers will be distributed to citizens across the state on a first come, first served basis starting today.

Microsoft Vice President Pamela Passman announced the “Microsoft Elevate America” program at the National Governor’s Conference in February. The initiative will 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. Maryland’s participation in the program makes it that fifth state to take part in this groundbreaking initiative.

For additional information regarding the Microsoft vouchers and locations where citizens can obtain a voucher in Maryland, visit the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation website at and click on the Microsoft Elevate America button.

Source: Office of Governor O’Malley

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