Microsoft Corp. today announced that it is awarding more than $5 million in cash and up to $10 million in software over the next two years to 12 nonprofits that offer technology skills training and job placement services to local communities in the United States.
In today’s technology-driven economy, finding a job without strong technology skills and during a tough economic downturn can be extremely difficult. To help ease this burden, through its Elevate America community initiative, Microsoft is partnering with nonprofit organizations that provide technology access and skills training in their local communities to help people find employment. The company is placing a special focus on underserved communities, including women and young workers (ages 18–25) who have greater barriers to employment and re-employment than the broader population.
Women are often at a disproportionate disadvantage in the work force. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, almost 60 percent of all low-wage workers are female compared with 44 percent of higher wage workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also notes women’s re-employment rate is roughly 6 percent lower than men’s. In addition, young workers also see a disproportionate disadvantage in the work force as compared with the broader population. According to the Economic Policy Institute, young adults represent 13.5 percent of the work force but account for 26.4 percent of unemployed workers.*