Have you ever wondered how Microsoft impacts the local Boston community? Anissa Battaglino, Microsoft’s Operations and Community Manager in the Northeast District, discusses some of the citizenship and community relations efforts in which Microsoft Boston is involved.

1. What is the focus of Microsoft’s community relations and Citizenship efforts?  Microsoft is committed to being a responsible industry partner, working with businesses, communities, and governments to help advance social and economic well-being and to enable people around the world to realize their full potential. Microsoft Community Affairs oversees all of Microsoft's community investment programs including corporate grant making, humanitarian assistance and employee volunteerism. Our citizenship and community programs focus on narrowing the technology skills gap, aiding global workforce development, and creating social and economic opportunity by providing technology skills training through community technology centers. We also focus on education and promoting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to inspire and prepare younger generations for careers in technology.

2. What are Microsoft’s Citizenship goals in the coming year?  Our goals this year are to continue to focus on educating and providing opportunities for disadvantaged youth by enabling them to experience innovative technologies and learn about careers in the IT industry.  We will continue to support our efforts in bringing schools to our technology centers, showcasing the future of IT and allowing students to job shadow. We also will continue to support and encourage women to enter the technology field through our DigiGirlz event, in which teenage girls come to the office for a day of technology training, career sessions, robotics demonstrations and internet safety presentations. Finally, Microsoft will have a large Day of Caring with all Massachusetts area employees supporting our overall citizenship efforts, during Microsoft’s Give Campaign month in October.

3. What are some examples of things you’ve done in the past year?  This year, our employees were involved in several events and activities to support the local community. We brought many schools and non-profit organizations to our Microsoft Technology Center (MTC).  We hosted several schools and non-profit organizations at our MTC, held successful DigiGirlz events and our employees volunteered at multiple Boys and Girls Clubs events throughout Boston and Cambridge.  Locally, we have also supported non-profits by donating millions of dollars in cash, software, and curriculum.

4. What activities do the employees really enjoy participating in?  Employees really enjoy supporting local schools and working with teachers and students who are located in their own communities. Local students come to our offices and MTC and we also visit the schools to give technology demonstrations and career advice. Also, our employees love hands-on volunteering where they have participated in a number of activities such as building bicycles for donation to the Boys and Girls Club.

5. What sets Boston Citizenship efforts apart?   Microsoft has 1,000 employees in the Boston area who work in both sales and research and development.  We have a unique ability to help many organizations, schools and universities because of our wealth of knowledge in technology and our high focus on underserved populations and the younger generation.  Through the years, we have developed many key relationships and partnerships in the Boston area, and due to our many connections in the non-profit and education world, we have linked many organizations with each other so they can learn from each other and share best practices and technology training.