Washington, DC – The DC government said it has forged a first-of-its-kind partnership with technology giant Microsoft, designed to help close the digital divide among residents while providing new resources to teachers and small businesses.

Mayor Vincent Gray called the relationship “an important step towards helping our citizens expand their employment opportunities and providing pioneering technology to our classrooms.”

The alliance initially will focus on two aspects of job creation – workforce development and capacity-building for District-based small businesses.

The DC Department of Employment Services (DOES) said it will select candidates to take part in Microsoft’s Digital Literacy Curriculum, which teaches digital basics. Residents also will be able to train on the company’s productivity software, and receive certificates in technology proficiency.

In addition, Microsoft will provide $100,000 in resources to 10 DC-based small businesses, in the form of software, training and support.

In another aspect of the alliance, educators will be able to attend a two-day seminar focused on the integration of technology into classroom teaching and learning scenarios, and students will have the chance to attend technology-exposure events, such as Microsoft DigiGirlz Days and Minority Student Days.

This article was also published in Potomac Tech Wire.

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Photo courtesy of Flickr user Walmart Corporate, used under Creative Commons license.

Photo shows Mayor Vincent Gray enjoying a healthy summer break lunch with students, made possible by a $25 million grant from the Walmart Foundation.