September 15, 2009 By News Staff
Virginia will begin offering free technology training to displaced workers through Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft's Elevate America program. The program will distribute 11,250 vouchers for technology training and certification through the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), and will provide students with career resources to find internships and permanent jobs.
Virginia will receive 5,000 vouchers for online training, 5,000 vouchers for online testing, and 1,250 vouchers for more advanced level training. Each training voucher is redeemable for either a free class to improve general computer skills or training on one of the programs in the Microsoft Office Suite. Testing vouchers are redeemable for an assessment toward certification in a particular field, and advanced level vouchers apply to training for those on IT professional career tracks in areas, such as Web development or database management. "Today, more than ever, people are looking for an opportunity to gain new, portable skills and training that will help them in their careers or as they look for their next job," said VCCS Chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois.
Virginia joins Washington, New York and Florida in participating in the Elevate America program, which Microsoft announced at the National Governor's Conference in February. The initiative is expected to provide up to 1 million vouchers nationwide for Microsoft e-Learning courses and certification exams at no or low cost to recipients.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.