D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray recently announced a partnership with Microsoft Corp. to increase technology access and bring computer-skills training to District residents, provide new resources for teachers and students and create development initiatives to help District-based small businesses.

“We operate in a 21st-century economy, and the demand for digital skills has never been higher,” Gray said at a Jan. 25 news conference announcing the initiative. “This strategic relationship between the District government and Microsoft is an important step towards helping our citizens expand their employment opportunities and providing pioneering technology to our classrooms – paving the way for future generations of District residents with the technological skills that will make them attractive to employers.”

The D.C. Department of Employment Services will provide training for entry-level jobs and D.C. Public Schools will partner with Microsoft to provide resources to District teachers to help them teach technological skills to students.

The Digital Alliance, to be run by the Department of Employment Services, will be part of Microsoft’s Digital Literacy Curriculum. Upon completion of a training program, many residents will receive a certificate of technology proficiency that can be added to their résumés.

Microsoft will also provide significant partner support and engagement as well as $100,000 in business-development resources to 10 local Certified Business Enterprises. These D.C.-based firms will receive access to Microsoft product groups, technical training, sales-pipeline support, marketing strategy and material development services.

Additionally, there will be professional development for District educators and the city will host the Microsoft Innovative Educator Program, a two-day seminar for educators to be held this spring at Howard University, which will focus on the integration of technology into teaching.

“By combining the numerous digital and training assets of Microsoft with the infrastructure of targeted programs of the District of Columbia, this relationship will empower more D.C. residents and organizations to realize their full potential,” Fred Humphries, Microsoft Vice President, U.S. Government Affairs, said in a statement.
For details about the partnership, visit http://www.microsoft.com/government/en-us/news/Digital Alliance.aspx.

Doxie McCoy (EOM) 202.727.9691; doxie.mccoy@dc.gov
Jose Sousa (DMPED), 202.340.6318; jose.sousa@dc.gov
Matt Donovan (Microsoft) 703.390.1519; Donovan@merrittgrp.com