February 23, 2009

Microsoft to offer training

Microsoft Corp. plans to help train up to 2 million people in basic computer skills, the U.S. company says.

The initiative was announced at a meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Monday.

The three-year program, dubbed Elevate America, comes a month after the computer software giant announced 1,400 layoffs, the first in the company's history.

The company says it will establish a Web site where people can assess their computer skills and find resources to help learn more. The site will have access to programs that teach computer skills, including how to use the Internet, send e-mail and create a resume.

The company said in a statement that it will also offer computer training programs and certification exams for

free or at low cost.

We've been working away on this issue for a number of years, said Pamela Passman, Microsoft's corporate vice president of global corporate affairs. "This is now front and center, but there is a whole (existing) infrastructure that is focused on work-force development.