Microsoft to the rescue with project 'Elevate America'

In response to last month's unemployment report in the United States, Microsoft has announced its new program called Elevate America. The program is aimed at providing the skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century. Microsoft Pamela Passman, Vice President for Corporate Affairs, said in a statement that, "Millions of Americans don't have the technology skills needed in today's economy. Through Elevate America, we want to help workers get the skills they need to succeed."

The initiative is has two main goals, one providing a online website for immediate access to retraining information and the other working with local and state government in providing these resources available to citizens. The online website has launched today and will be updated as new resources and information becomes available. The website is split into four major categories: Getting the basics, expanding your skills, building your career, and creating your future career, which is very similar to the recent announcement of Microsoft Thrive.

Microsoft will be providing state and local governments with 1 million Microsoft Learning vouchers for access to Microsoft eLearning courses and certification exams. The first states that will receive these vouchers are Washington, New York, and Flora. Washington's Governor Chris Gregoire has noted this new program is "[an] example of Microsoft's leadership on education and work force development – issues that bring us a step closer to recovery by helping provide critically important help to our citizens."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics more than half of the jobs in the U.S. require some kind of technical skills, and has estimated that that number will climb to 77 percent in the next decade. Anywhere you go you will need basic computing skills, and this is a huge step up for Microsoft given the current global economic recession.

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So they want money back from the employees they fired... yet they create this website is trying to help the unemployed or about to be. What is wrong with them?

SmashedSpotlight said,
So they want money back from the employees they fired... yet they create this website is trying to help the unemployed or about to be. What is wrong with them? :blink:


The money that they are asking back is money they gave away by mistake. It's not the first time a company has made a mistake in a severence package, and won't be the last. It's not as big of a deal as the media is making it. It's probably only a couple hundred of dollars, if that.

RebelSean said,
The money that they are asking back is money they gave away by mistake. It's not the first time a company has made a mistake in a severence package, and won't be the last. It's not as big of a deal as the media is making it. It's probably only a couple hundred of dollars, if that.

As Rebel said this another example media mixing 2 different stories, media are part plan for this economic slow done.

^^ we both know better than that; Microsoft is notorious for exporting jobs abroad in order to save a buck or two.

Microsoft has offices all over the globe. It would be counterproductive to hire US workers to work at Microsoft India, for example.

Naturally, any proper company wants to hire talent. If the person that has talent is American, thats a plus... but if not, oh well.

If a company such as microsoft hires americans, for the sake of hiring americans, they would be digging their own grave.

"Naturally, any proper company wants to hire talent." What a great statement. It's even better because you start it off with "naturally."

I think what you meant to say was that it'd be logical for any company to hoard talent - if not because they'll use it for themselves, then because they don't want that talent used by their competitors. However, talent has a price, and companies are in the business of making money. If companies were really all about talent, it wouldn't explain why there are so many incompetent people about, nor why there are so many incompetent people who barely even speak English. Maybe they're incompetent due to a language barrier, but I would be willing to bet that those people really barely have a clue as to what they're doing and yet they're working a job that the company regards as unimportant (yet required to keep around), and they were probably the lowest bidder in terms of accepted pay rate.

Talent and American isn't a plus. Talent and willing to work for cheap - that is a plus, if you're thinking profit margins.

It is a worldwide crisis, why should Microsoft focus only on the US? Why not Canada? Why not Europe? Heck, why not Asia?

I think you misunderstand programs like H-1B. It is not about "working cheap." H-1B requires, by law, that the person be paid exactly the same as a US worker doing the same job.

H-1B is about getting talented people from outside the US to come to the US and fill jobs. It's not about cheap labor -- in fact, hiring an H-1B worker is more expensive for a company like Microsoft because they pay moving costs, as well as the legal costs for all of the visa paper work.

You tend to forget that this country started as a country of immigrants. You need to be less snotty about the fact that your immigrant parents showed up a few decades before these people did.

@Sean, yeah, but everyone is acting like the US is the only country out there. I'm going to want a tech job when I'm older, and I'm Canadian. Am I somehow less deserving?

simon360 said,
@Sean, yeah, but everyone is acting like the US is the only country out there. I'm going to want a tech job when I'm older, and I'm Canadian. Am I somehow less deserving?


Nationality has nothing to do with this Simon. Its Microsoft's decision to spend millions in the U.S., and they are not obligated to do it at all. These tools are still available for you. You act as if they can afford to spend billions around the world to train people in IT, which they shouldn't have to do at all.

@KeR, Do you know how expensive it is for Microsoft to hire workers from other countries? They ship all your stuff to Canada/America, pay for your flights, pay for 2 months accommodation, arrange for someone to find you a house for after the 2 months ends, give you a rental car for a month, arrange healthcare until you subscribe to a service. MS will even pay for your wife & children. They have layers to get visas arranged (even though in my experience they should all be sacked) Do you think they would go to all that trouble if they could find workers in the USA?

Sean, I'm not criticizing Microsoft for this :P I think it's great that they're doing this.

My problem is with the people complaining that they don't hire enough in the US.

I think you misunderstand programs like H-1B. It is not about "working cheap." H-1B requires, by law, that the person be paid exactly the same as a US worker doing the same job.

H-1B is about getting talented people from outside the US to come to the US and fill jobs. It's not about cheap labor -- in fact, hiring an H-1B worker is more expensive for a company like Microsoft because they pay moving costs, as well as the legal costs for all of the visa paper work.

You tend to forget that this country started as a country of immigrants. You need to be less snotty about the fact that your immigrant parents showed up a few decades before these people did.

Are you freaking joking?.

H1b IS ABOUT FREE LABORER. And h1b is not about immigrant, because they can be fired at whim. Also h1b is not quality, its hard (if not impossible) to find any german, french or british working under h1b in USA, in fact with luck you can find russian and even mexican using a h1b.

a proof that H1b is currently misused :
http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflas...0212_920784.htm

H1b IS ABOUT FREE LABORER.

H1-B employees aren't paid at all? Here's a pro-tip: if you're going to rant without understanding a topic don't say things that are obviously false. Try "Cheap labor" or "scaring local workers into compliance" or something.
And h1b is not about immigrant, because they can be fired at whim.


Also h1b is not quality, its hard (if not impossible) to find any german, french or british working under h1b in USA, in fact with luck you can find russian and even mexican using a h1b.

What does the country of the H-1B employee have to do with anything? A qualified and talented individual isn't somehow less skilled because their nation's flag has green or black on it.


Your article discusses fraud—the people involved were arrested and now face prison time if they are convicted of wrong doing.
    1) Are you accusing Microsoft of using the H-1B program fraudulently, and if so can you provide evidence to support that accusation? This is a very serious claim.
    2) Potted plants have been used to assault police officers1. Do you also condem all owners of flowers, ferns, and indoor-trees as criminals because they make use of something that has been known to be abused by criminals?

I'm a Canadian programmer working in the US on an H1B since graduating college almost 2 years ago and I get paid $64,000/year. I think all your H1B myths are debunked.