Microsoft Offers Free Tech Training To Millions

The online resource is focused on helping users figure out what types of technical skills are required for IT jobs, and provides resources to help acquire these skills. The Web site offers access to several Microsoft online training programs, from very basic (e.g., "How to use the Internet") to much more advanced (e.g., "Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Windows XP Professional").

To provide a variety of training, Microsoft will partner with state and local governments. Florida, New York and Washington will be the first states to offer Elevate America courses.

Some 3.6 million jobs have been lost since the recession began in December 2007 with about half of the decline occurring in the past three months, according to recent Labor Department data. (Read about January IT layoffs.)

"Millions of Americans don't have the technology skills needed in today's economy. Through Elevate America, we want to help workers get the skills they need to succeed," Pamela Passman, corporate vice president of Microsoft Global Corporate Affairs, said. "We are also providing a full range of workforce development resources for state and local governments so they can offer specialized training for their workers."

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