Today, I had the honor of representing Microsoft as President Barack Obama discussed the administration’s ongoing commitment to fostering opportunities to help prepare the nation’s veterans for their transition to the civilian workforce.
We applaud the President for continuing to draw attention to this very important issue, supporting veterans, as they move from the military to civilian life, and ensuring they are fully supported and see great success along the way.
Microsoft also understands the need in this area. In response, we will step up our existing efforts. We will expand our Elevate America veterans initiative by partnering with the U.S. Department of Labor to distribute 10,000 technology training and certification packages to veterans. These resources will be provided over a two-year period though the Department of Labor One-Stop Career Centers designed to provide a full range of assistance to job seekers under one roof.
This additional investment in our ongoing program will increase Microsoft’s total commitment to providing training and related job seeking support for veterans to $12 million, all very intentionally designed to help veterans get the technology skills, resources and support they need for a successful transition to civilian life.
Elevate America also complements Microsoft’s focus on supporting veterans through our own hiring practices. We actively hire veterans, and have created a program called Military2Microsoft which assists U.S. veterans and those serving in the National Guard and Reserve to transition and find job opportunities within Microsoft. The Military2Microsoft program incorporates a variety of resources online to make the job search experience easier for military talent.
As a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a member of the board of the United Service Organizations, these issues resonate and are deeply personal. I am proud to work for a company that is committed to offering solutions to help our veterans.
As a Microsoft employee and employer, I understand the value of these skills and resources, and the important role they play in helping individuals to be successful in today’s workplace. Our servicemen and women are amazing leaders. Through our collective efforts, we are working to enhance their competencies and provide the resources that help veterans see success.
We applaud the other companies who joined with the President today in announcing or extending their support of veterans. We encourage other private-sector companies to consider the role they can play in supporting our veterans as they return to civilian life – whether it is through training, internships, mentorships, hiring or other support. The quality of service that these men and women have provided is unparalleled – and these individuals and our communities will benefit tremendously from this decision to support them.