Labor, Microsoft unveil adult computer literacy campaign

The Labor Department is teaming up with Microsoft Corp. to develop a new two-year initiative to train and educate underserved adults in computer and IT skills.

Under the plan, unveiled today at the National Press Club in Washington, Microsoft will donate $3.5 million in cash and software to nine of the Labor Department's One-Stop Career centers'nationwide offices and resources that help job seekers find employment.

This year, the grants will be made to career centers in Boston and Framingham, Mass., Pittsburgh and Lancaster, Pa., Rockledge, Fla., Sunnyvale, Calif., Seattle, Chicago, and Beckley, W.Va.

Officials hope to expand the program next year.

Deputy Labor secretary Steven Law said that the partnership will help educate adults in computer skills who otherwise would never receive them and is an integral aspect of the President's American Competitiveness Initiative, a program President Bush described during his State of the Union address last month that seeks to improve education and encourage business entrepreneurs.

'This partnership will provide value-added technology training to workers seeking to upgrade their skills,' Law said. 'Microsoft and other technology leaders understand that we need to close the skills gap to keep America competitive in the innovation economy.'

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