Microsoft and the City of Houston, TX have partnered to launch ‘Accelerate: Houston’ – a new training program to help low-income residents and students learn digital skills during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The program is part of the larger Microsoft program called the Global Skills Initiative which seeks to help 25 million people worldwide learn new digital skills. Microsoft plans to work with K-12 school districts, universities, and the private sector to offer technology workshops, certification programs and digital-literacy training. Microsoft is backing the effort with more than $1 million US in investments toward programs that support social entrepreneurship and other initiatives. The company had originally partnered with the city in 2018 to enhance internet of things and STEM outreach in the region.
“More than two years ago, I announced our first transformative alliance with Microsoft — the first of its kind in the United States,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Today, I am pleased to say we are taking another leap toward strengthening Houston’s global standing as a center for innovation and technology.”
The courses will be delivered via LinkedIn Learning and will help adults unfamiliar with technology transition between careers. Students in the Houston Independent School District can participate in the Microsoft Imagine Academy Learning Pathworkwith opportunities to work toward Microsoft course certifications.
“Microsoft launched the Accelerate program at a time when closing the digital divide has never been more important,” said Kate Johnson, president of Microsoft US. “We’re thrilled to be joining Mayor Turner and an impressive group of partners in this effort to expand access to in-demand digital skills—and close digital skills gaps widened by COVID-19—through Accelerate: Houston.”