May 20, 2010 5:12 PM by KXLH News (Helena)

Montana teams with Microsoft to offer online training

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry announced today an public-private partnership with Microsoft's "Elevate America" program to offer thousands of Montanans free computer courses on programs such as 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," said Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly. "It will help make our workers more marketable to employers."

Montana's Department of Labor & Industry will make voucher codes for free access to Microsoft e-learning programs available to the public starting on Thursday, May 20th, on the MT Jobs website.

Notice of voucher availability will also be printed on all Montana unemployment checks and will appear in a scrolling banner on the UI website.

There are 2,500 vouchers for Microsoft e-learning courses, 2,500 vouchers for Microsoft business certification courses, and 625 vouchers for access to selected advanced IT professional courses.

The online vouchers will allow free access to Microsoft e-learning courses and certification exams:

* Each training voucher is redeemable for free, online training on one Microsoft Windows Vista or of the programs in the Microsoft Office Suite.

* Each testing voucher is redeemable a Microsoft Business Certification Exam.

* Advanced level online training vouchers are redeemable for training for individuals on technical professional career tracks in areas such as web development or database management.

One e-learning voucher can be redeemed for one e-learning "collection". An e-learning collection is made up of several e-learning courses. Once an e-learning collection is activated, a person will have 12 months of access and use of the courses.

Certification takes place through Certiport sites will be available for 90-days (ending on August 18, 2010) at various locations statewide; to find a local Certiport testing location near you, visit Jobs.MT.gov.


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