Microsoft Putting Money Where the Veterans Are

A year into its three-year initiative to help retrain returning soldiers, Microsoft is calling for veterans organizations to submit proposals as to how to best meet their vocational technology needs.

Just over a year ago, Microsoft announced a three-year initiative to help veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan gain the technical skills needed to reintegrate into the job market.

Then in March, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced it would soon begin entertaining proposals from organizations that want to take advantage of the program, known as the Elevate America Veterans Initiative.

Now, the initiative is accepting proposals.

"Through a competitive request for proposal process, Microsoft will award cash, software and IT skills training curriculum to eligible veterans service organizations, work-force agencies, as well as other nonprofit organizations and their partners that are providing veterans and their spouses with the support they need to be successful in their transition to civilian careers," Microsoft said in a statement Tuesday.

The proposals will compete for some of the $2 million in cash and as much as $6 million in software that the initiative will provide over the next two years.

Proposal submissions are due by June 30 and Microsoft said it will announce the successful applicants in August.

"Support provided by these organizations may include technology skills training, job placement, career counseling and other support services such as childcare, transportation and housing," the company said.

Additionally, Microsoft plans a further round of proposals next year to enable successful grantees to deepen their efforts or to scale them up.

Microsoft said it has given out some 600,000 free technology training vouchers so far in 17 states, with more to be named in coming weeks.

The initiative also includes the Elevate America Web site, which provides Microsoft-specific content as well as access to online training for Microsoft products.

In addition, the company also created an advisory committee that includes the American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Paralyzed Veterans of America, United Service Organizations (USO) and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Microsoft has posted the request for proposals online.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

Tags: Microsoft, software, IT Jobs/Salary, IT job, veterans

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