With today's emphasis on technology, finding a job without having any computer skills is nearly impossible.  But here in LA and all across America, underserved populations-especially young and female workers-have not received the training necessary to participate in our largely digital economy. 

That's why Microsoft has just announced that it will award more than $5 million in cash and up to $10 million in software over the next two years to 12 nonprofits that furnish technology-skills training and job placement services to local communities throughout the country.  These Elevate America grants from Microsoft focus on women and young workers, because they confront greater barriers to employment and re-employment than the population at large.  In Southern California, a Microsoft grant is going to the Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade.  Other Microsoft donations are destined for community organizations in Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco, as well as in Spokane; Minneapolis; Nashville; Chicago; Boston; New York City; Bridgeport, Connecticut; and Venice, Florida.

Through these grants Microsoft expects to reach more than 16,000 people, providing them the skills they need to help boost their futures through technology. In addition, each of the 300 organizations that applied for Elevate America grants will receive software donations from Microsoft.  If you'd like to learn more about the Elevate America community initiative, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/ElevateAmerica.