April 3, 2009

The Honorable Richard Durbin 
United States Senate
309 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Richard Lugar
United States Senate
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC  20510
 
Dear Senator Durbin and Senator Lugar:

We are writing to express Microsoft’s strong support for your recent re-introduction of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (The "DREAM Act").  We applaud your efforts to ensure that America fully empowers – and reaps benefits from – bright students who are dedicated to education and hard work.  To maintain its position of leadership in the global economy, America must be the locus of the world’s best minds.  It is essential to our nation’s competitiveness and success to nurture the talent we have and to incorporate bright, hardworking students into the workforce to become the next generation of leaders in this country.

As you know, strengthening education is one of Microsoft’s highest priorities.  Microsoft sees great synergy between the DREAM Act and Microsoft’s initiatives to support education and workforce training in the United States.  The DREAM Act reinforces and protects America’s substantial investments in the education of its youth, and ensures that America will reap the benefits of those investments.  The DREAM Act rewards those who place high value on education, on hard work, and on service to country.

Microsoft is putting its dedication to work through a host of initiatives, including:

  • Through our Unlimited Potential Community Technology Skills program, in the US, we’ve invested $85 million in cash, software and training support to more than 4,500 community technology since 2003;
  • Through our Partners in Learning program in the US, we have invested $35 million in resources and training in K-12, touching more than 2.3 million students and teachers to actively increase access to technology and improve its use in learning; and
  • Through our recently launched Elevate America program we will offer 1 million learning vouchers for no cost that provide the skills needed for people of all ages who are preparing for job opportunities in today’s changing economy.

The overarching goal of all of these initiatives is to invest in and improve the education and skill levels so that America’s workforce can be the best in the world. This goal is frustrated when America loses that investment by turning the educated away when they are poised to enter the workforce – and when America is poised to reap the powerful benefits these bright individuals stand ready to offer.

Opening the door to the best intellectual resources our country can muster is essential to our future strength.  Your introduction of the DREAM Act is an important step toward that goal, and an important sign of momentum toward the broader reforms that our country so urgently needs.


Sincerely,
Fred Humphries
Managing Director, U.S. Government Affairs