Montana and Microsoft team up and offer free computer courses

By BNO News

HELENA, MONTANA (BNO NEWS) – The Montana Department of Labor and Industry announced free computer e-learning courses with certifications on Thursday.

An innovative public-private partnership between Microsoft's Elevate America and Montana’s Labor Department is programmed to offer thousands of Montanans free computer e-learning courses on programs like Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows along with certification exams and advanced IT professional courses.

"To have a strong economy, you have to have a strong workforce and 'Elevate America' offers a great way for our workers to ramp up their computer readiness to have an edge in the job market," said Governor Brian Schweitzer.

"We are excited to be joining with Microsoft in this effort to give our citizens the opportunity for free computer training and certification," Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly said. "It will help make our workers more marketable to employers."

Montana's Department of Labor and Industry will make voucher codes for free access to Microsoft e-learning programs available to the public starting Thursday, May 20, and there are 2500 vouchers for Microsoft e-learning courses, 2500 vouchers for Microsoft business certification courses and 625 vouchers for access to selected advanced IT professional courses.

Microsoft’s "Elevate America" program was announced in February 2009 and 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, is part of Microsoft's overall Unlimited Potential efforts to improve social and economic opportunities for people, providing technology training for up to two million people during the next three years.

"Elevate America will help to equip people in Montana with the crucial technology skills necessary to get a job in today's competitive workplace," said Tori Locke, Western Region General Manager, State and Local Government, Microsoft Corporation. "We believe that this type of public-private partnership will play an important role in rebuilding Montana and the nation's economy by offering immediate access to technology literacy and skills training to improve recipients' employment prospects."

(Copyright 2012 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info:

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