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New Hampshire & Microsoft Make an Investment in Technology Training

Governor John Lynch has announced that New Hampshire has joined forces with Microsoft in an innovative public-private partnership to provide free technology training to unemployed residents across the state.

Through Elevate America, Microsoft will work with the Office of Workforce Opportunity, Department of Resources and Economic Development, New Hampshire Employment Security and NH Works Career Centers to distribute 5,625 vouchers for free, online technology training and certification.

(L. to R.) NH Employment Security Commissioner Tara Reardon congratulates Penny Letourneau of Concord, the first recipient of an Elevate America technology training voucher as NH Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald and Microsoft General Manager for State and Local Government John Bunn look on.

(L. to R.) NH Employment Security Commissioner Tara Reardon congratulates Penny Letourneau of Concord, the first recipient of an Elevate America technology training voucher as NH Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald and Microsoft General Manager for State and Local Government John Bunn look on.

“Providing training for our workers is one of the best investments we can make in our economy. Through my New Hampshire Working initiative and the Job Training Fund, we have made helping workers get the skills they need to get good jobs a priority,” Gov. Lynch said. “The Elevate America initiative is helping our continuing efforts to get workers the skills and certifications they need so we can help them get back to work.”

The first vouchers were recently distributed at the NH Works Center in Concord by George Bald, Commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, and Commissioner Tara Reardon of NH Employment Security. Joining Commissioners Bald and Reardon was John Bunn, Microsoft’s General Manager for State and Local Government.

The free vouchers are available to unemployed residents only until July 1, when vouchers will be distributed on a first-come first-serve basis. Vouchers must be activated by users by August 19, 2010.

Vouchers include 2,500 for Microsoft Business Certification Training; 2,500 vouchers for Microsoft Business Certification examinations, and 625 vouchers for advanced Microsoft IT Professional online learning.

“Elevate America helps people to get the critical technology skills they need to get a job in today’s competitive workplace,” said Microsoft’s Bunn. “We believe that this type of public-private partnership will play an important role in rebuilding New Hampshire’s and the nation’s economy by offering immediate access to basic technology literacy and skills training to ultimately improve recipients’ employment prospects.”

“Job seekers can use these online courses from their computers at home, and access the training for up to a year once activated,” said Employment Security Commissioner Tara Reardon. “Offering access to computer skills training will greatly improve recipients’ employment prospects.”

“Employers at our recent Governors Job Cabinet Roundtable discussions expressed the hope that today’s job applicants be trained in new technology skills, and this opportunity comes at an appropriate time, as employers begin to hire again,” said DRED Commissioner George Bald. “The Elevate America program will help New Hampshire companies remain competitive in today’s marketplace.”

Microsoft Elevate America vouchers can be obtained at the 13 local NH Works Centers throughout the state.

Vouchers can be used for the following training and certifications:
Computer Basics for Beginners – Access basic computer concepts and skills. Perfect for those new to computers. No voucher is required for the beginner courses.

Programs requiring vouchers:
Intermediate Level, Business Worker Online Learning – Select from: Microsoft Windows Vista, Office 2003 or Office 2007 online training. Voucher must be activated by July 26, 2010. E-Learning is accessible for 12 months from activation date.

Advanced Level IT Professional Online Learning – Select a training from Microsoft’s online learning library for IT Professionals and Developers. The cost of certification exams at this level is not covered by this program. Voucher must be activated by August 19, 2010.

Intermediate Level Certification Exams – Certification exams must be taken at a Certiport Testing Location. Select from Office 2003 or Office 2007 exams. Voucher must be activated by August 19, 2010. Certification exams must also be completed by August 19, 2010.

New Hampshire Certiport Examinations Centers are located at:
Blended Solutions Technical Institute
1000 Elm Street, Manchester N H 03101
603-622-4922
Contact: Cindy Kuehl (ckuehl@bstinh.com)

New Horizons of Northern New England
460 Amherst St., Nashua 03060
603-882-4900
Contact: Todd Duhamel (toddd@nhnashua.com)

ATI Institute of Rochester
35 Industrial Way, Suite 150, Rochester 03867
603-330-3533
Contact: Christina Dame (christina@smartati.com)

Manchester Community Resource Center
177 Lake Ave., Manchester 03103
603-647-8967
Contact: Fawn Francis (info@ontracktraining.org)

New Hampshire’s participation in Microsoft’s Elevate America program makes it the 22ndstate to take part in the initiative, which is expected to provide up to one million vouchers nationwide. The program is a part of Microsoft’s overall efforts to provide technology training for up to two million people during the next three years.

Microsoft announced the “Elevate America” program at the National Governor’s 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.

For additional information regarding Elevate America visit:
http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/us/communityinvestment/elevateamerica.aspx

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