Microsoft has teamed up with the State of Iowa to provide free technology training for 5,700 unemployed Iowans who need to upgrade their computer skills.  Called “Microsoft Elevate America,” the new initiative was announced by Governor Chet Culver and Microsoft officials.

For more information or to apply, click here or call 800-JOB-IOWA.

The scoop from the Governor’s office:

Governor Chet Culver today joined Microsoft Director of Government Affairs Tony Wilson and Iowa Workforce Development Director Elisabeth Buck at the Iowa State Capitol to launch a public-private partnership – “Microsoft Elevate America.” This innovative public-private program will provide 5,700 vouchers to Iowa Workforce Development for free technology training and Microsoft certification to help Iowans meet the demands of the 21st century economy. Additionally, Elevate America provides unlimited access to a free online basic computer skill training program.

“As Governor, my focus has been on creating good jobs for people across our state,” said Governor Culver. “Public-private partnerships, such as Microsoft Elevate America, play a key role by helping people get the training and develop the skills needed for today’s new jobs. In the end, this effort will not only help thousands of Iowans but our entire state as we strengthen our economy and put people back to work.”

Microsoft Vice President Pamela Passman announced the “Microsoft Elevate America” program at the National Governor’s Conference in February. The initiative will 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 is designed to provide technology training for up to 2 million people during the next three years.

“Microsoft has an ongoing commitment to workforce development and this program aims to equip people with the digital skills they’ll need to get a job in the new economy,” said Wilson. “We believe this type of public-private partnership can play an important role in helping to rebuild the nation’s economy.”

In Iowa, Microsoft is partnering with the State’s Workforce Department to distribute the 5,700 e-learning vouchers over the next 90 days. Individuals will request a voucher online at www.iowaworkforce.org/elevateamerica. Iowans can also call 1-800-JOB-IOWA (1-800-562-4692) for additional information.

“Microsoft is providing a resource for Iowans that will greatly enhance the skill level of the state’s workforce”, indicated Elisabeth Buck. “With nearly 100,000 Iowans feeling significant effects of the current economy, the e-learning program provides a much needed tool for up skilling to meet the demands of Iowa employers.”

Voucher distribution will begin at 1:00PM on July 15th and will continue until all 5,700 vouchers are issued. The Microsoft digital literacy program will continue to be available through Iowa Workforce Development’s web site.

To learn more about the Elevate America program, visit: www.microsoft.com/elevateamerica.