Microsoft to give free tech training to 2 million Americans

With millions of Americans unemployed and uncertain about how to pursue new careers, Microsoft's new Elevate America program seems perfectly timed. The company announced this week that it will provide up to two million people with free technology training over the next three years to prepare them for the new marketplace in IT.

The program has several components. The first, a web site, is designed to educate job seekers about the types of work that will be in demand and help them figure out how to go about getting the needed skills.

Building on Microsoft's existing initiatives to bring hi-tech training to underserved populations, the company will also partner with state and local governments to offer training at the community level. The existing Unlimited Potential Community Technology Skills Program will provide a road map for this training.