By Kim Hart - 03/08/10 08:32 PM EST
Microsoft will donate $2 million in cash and up to $6 million in software over the next two years. It will award the resources to organizations such as veterans groups, work force agencies, community colleges and nonprofits. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the first organization to sign on to a public-private coalition to help veterans and their spouses reintegrate into civilian communities.
The initiative has already won praise from lamakers.
Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, said he "salutes" Microsoft's plan. "I hope Microsoft's commitment will inspire all employers across the country to give back to veterans."
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), also a committee member, said, ""Education and training of the young men and women who have served our nation in the military and their families is often an afterthought and an unattainable goal in times of economic stress. This innovative program helps bridge that divide and opens up paths to new opportunities in life."
The new program builds on Microsoft's "Elevate America" program to provide training and certification assistance to people who lack the skills required by today's employers.
Microsoft plans to issue an initial request for proposals in April and will award the first grants in June.