IT Voucher Program Looks To Brighten Job Horizon
Technology giant Microsoft is offering thousands of New Yorkers free vouchers to learn computer skills. NY1's Asa Aarons filed the following report.
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A new program sponsored by Microsoft is hoping to get more than 70,000 New Yorkers up to speed when it comes to computers.
Known as "Elevate America," the initiative provides technology training to job seekers around the state.
"I cant overstate the need to have computer skills," said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Colleen Gardner. "More than half of today's jobs require technology skills, even for entry level jobs."
The training certificates can cost more than a thousand dollars, but under the "Elevate America" program, Microsoft provides them for free.
"At Microsoft we believe technology can be a tremendous catalyst for economic growth and development. And we know technology alone is not the answer. We need to provide access, we need to provide training, a more holistic approach," said John Bunn of Microsoft.
A recent Microsoft study showed 47 percent of the people who receive Information Technology certificates receive a raise within one year. While a salary increase is certainly nice, many who attend the classes say they will be pleased with just a basic salary.
Several voucher recipients in the New York City area who are without jobs say they hope the technology certificates will help reboot their careers.
"It's something that I've actually been looking at and pursuing for quite a while and it's a little cost prohibitive, but it's good to know this is available now," said program participant Edwin Pagan.
"It will be better for my resume and also to enhance my experience," said program participant Ana Rivern. "One of the best things about it is you can do it at home, at your own convenience."
Courses range from basic technology literacy to intermediate and advanced level technology skills training. And yes, most are available online.
Microsoft says they will continue to work with the New York State Department of Labor to distribute more than 70,000 vouchers for online training and certification through one-stop career centers across the state.
For more information, visit http://www.labor.ny.gov.
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