In an effort to reduce unemployment among veterans, Microsoft Corp. will partner with the Labor Department to provide 10,000 veterans and veterans’ spouses with vouchers for training that could lead to industry-recognized information technology certifications, DOL and Microsoft announced Nov. 9 during a press conference call.
Microsoft will distribute the vouchers during a two-year period through DOL one-stop career centers in five communities that have large numbers of returning post-Sept. 11, 2001, veterans. The vouchers will enable veterans to obtain e-learning and certification for Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010, leading to a Microsoft Office Specialist certification.
During the past two months, the unemployment rate for the post-9/11 generation of veterans has climbed to 12.1 percent—more than 3 percentage points above the civilian unemployment rate,” Solis said. There are over 200,000 veterans who served after September 11th who are now looking for work and one million current service members are projected to leave the military by 2016.
Vouchers will be available in the five communities that have the highest number of returning post-Sept. 11, 2001-era veterans. The communities and the local workforce boards that will distribute the vouchers include: Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (Wash.); San Diego Workforce Partnership (Calif.); Houston-Galveston Area Council (Texas); Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board (Va.); and First Coast Workforce Development/WorkSource Florida (Jacksonville, Fla.).
Each area will receive 1,000 vouchers per year for two years, totaling 10,000 vouchers. In addition, Microsoft will provide in-person support to the veterans and their spouses, and the workforce boards will help connect them to potential employers. The vouchers will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
In the days leading up to Veterans Day, the Obama administration has launched several other initiatives to help military veterans find civilian employment. Under the Veteran Gold Card program, post-9/11 veterans can download from the DOL website a Veteran Gold Card entitling them to six months of intensive job counseling and personalized case management services at a DOL one-stop career center. The Labor Department also has launched a website called My Next Move for Veterans, which is available at www.MyNextMove.org/vets. At this website, military veterans will be able to enter their military occupation code to get information about civilian jobs that use the same skills. In addition, the Obama administration launched a new Veterans Jobs Bank at www.nrd.gov that lists job postings from companies that want to hire veterans. 11.10.2011.