Each of the 13 Appalachian states will receive up to $150,000 in software grants. One of those grants has already been made to CREATE to enhance its workforce development program, manage charitable contributions and strengthen community leadership capacity.
This is the second $2 million grant in the past six years that Microsoft has made in support of ARC’s initiative to expand the use of technology and telecommunications as tools for economic and community development.
Microsoft, ARC and CREATE officials and U.S. senators from ARC states were on hand at an announcement press conference Wednesday.
“As we look for solutions to help people find work, lack of education remains a barrier for many,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss. “A person looking for a job is much more likely to be successful if they have the labor skills that meet employers’ needs. Through this partnership between Microsoft and the Appalachian Regional Commission, nonprofit organizations will be able to utilize software to train our workforce, making a lasting impact in many of our communities.”
CREATE Foundation Executive Vice President Lewis Whitfield noted that CREATE’s Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi had focused in the last five years on educational attainment and workforce development.
“This new Microsoft software will enable our staff of seven to become more efficient and effective in all phases of our organization, including enhancing our donor relations, expanding our regional capacity-development initiatives and enabling consistent central office support and communications for our county affiliates throughout our region,” Whitfield said.