NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Governor Phil Bredesen announced a partnership with Microsoft that will offer free computer training to thousands of Tennesseans.
In the crowded room of any job fair, you can find someone like Sherneil Crowder. A mother who is looking to make a better life for her children, but she keeps running into hurdles.
"I have no experience they are looking for and some of the jobs you have to have computer skills," said Crowder.
Knowledge of technology is a skill that eliminates a number of people from jobs. Most do not have the time to get the training because they are trying to raise a family or the cost is just too expensive.
Crowder visited a number of job booths at the JOB News job fair on Wednesday.
"I would love to get more computer training to get a better job," said Crowder.
During an announcement Governor Bredesen revealed a partnership with Microsoft that will offer free Technology Training to 25,875 Tennesseans.
There will be 11,500 vouchers for Microsoft Business Certification training, 11,500 vouchers for Microsoft Business Certification exams and 2,875 vouchers for advanced Microsoft IT Professional online learning.
"The program with Microsoft is going to give an awful lot of people of all ages the opportunity to begin to use their minds to make things in a way that will benefit our state and certainly can be a benefit to them personally." said Bredesen.
At the end of each course, participants will receive certification.
"If you are in a hiring pool with 20 other people, this could be the edge they need," said IT student Jessica Bryant.
She, like many manufacturing workers in Tennessee, was laid off from her job nearly two yeas ago. She's since taken IT classes, which she said are expensive. With the free classes available, she said she will not pass them up.
With the free help, they hope to be better prepared for the obstacle of finding a new job.
If you are interested in the training, you have to sign up before July 26. After that date, the free vouchers will not be available.
You must be 18 years old. The sign-up and registration is all electronic. Microsoft: Elevate America
Computers at most IT centers and all of the Tennessee Department of Labor Career Centers will have the program on its computers. Workers at the centers will help people there to help you walk through the process.