Spotlight On NW Creative: Elevate America

The Oregonian announced today that unemployment has breached 12% in the Beaver State and that it’s likely to go even higher. A fact which begs the question, what are Oregonians going to do about it? We regularly celebrate the creative and pioneering spirits inherent in the people of this state. But it’s time to do more, it’s time to do the heavy lifting of jobs training and jobs creation.
Next door in Washington, Microsoft’s Elevate America outreach program intends to be of service.

Working with state and local governments, Elevate America will provide vouchers good for Microsoft’s eLearning software courses and business certification exams. The company intends to train 2 million people over the next three years with no cost to the students.
To kick the program off today in downtown Seattle, Microsoft and Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire announced the company’s donation of 30,000 vouchers for people living in the Evergreen State. This offering doesn’t appear to exist in Oregon at the moment, but perhaps someone can make a call to Redmond and open a dialogue.
According to TechFlash, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, made it clear that the company isn’t about to see its donation used to promote the use of competing programs (Linux, for example). At the same time, he said Microsoft “would be thrilled” if other companies in the software industry took similar steps to promote training on their own products.
Governor Gregoire said she’d like to see other companies demonstrate the same level of “generosity” and “leadership” as Microsoft in that regard. I concur. And so does The Book of Luke. “For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.