State partners with Microsoft to provide free technology training

Senator Andy Hill joined with state leaders in Bellevue on Tuesday to launch Washington’s new “IT Academy,” which will provide free information technology training to Washington residents. Hill, who serves as chairman of the Senate’s budget-writing committee, provided $1.5 million in the state’s 2013-15 operating budget to launch the program through the Secretary of State’s office.

“The training available through the IT Academy is an incredible opportunity for everyone no matter what their skill level or computing experience,” said Hill, of Redmond, a former Microsoft manager. “Today’s job market is increasingly competitive and technology driven. By enabling Washingtonians to go to their local library or community college and learn anything from basic computer skills to advanced technology is a major asset to individuals and employers.  King County Library members can access the IT Academy directly from their computers, without physically going to the library.”

The program will be available at more than 380 libraries statewide and will be go online at all community and technical colleges early in 2014.

“This is another way for the State Library to provide meaningful services that really benefit people throughout Washington,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman. “We’re excited that so many libraries are our partners with the IT Academy. The winners will be people in almost every community in our state who take advantage of this great training opportunity.”

After completing training individuals will also have the opportunity to become certified in Microsoft products, which are oftentimes requirements in the IT field.

“This is a great example of leveraging resources for the good of everyone in Washington,” continued Hill. “Through a $1.5 million investment Washington residents will get more than $22 million worth of value from the program. With a strong technology sector and ever-increasing demand for technical skills this will prepare Washington residents to fill high-quality Washington jobs.”