YMCA Training, Inc. Receives $250,000 Elevate America Community Initiative Grant from Microsoft

Grant will fund program to help underserved populations in Greater Boston find jobs

(Boston, MA  Feb. 3, 2011) YMCA Training, Inc. today announced that Microsoft Corp. is awarding a $250,000 Elevate America Community Initiative Grant to help the organization offer technology skills training and job placement services to the Greater Boston community.

In today’s technology driven economy, finding a job without strong technology skills and during a tough economic downturn can be extremely difficult. To help ease this burden, YMCA Training, Inc. is partnering with Microsoft through the company’s Elevate America community initiative, to provide technology access and skills training to help people find employment. YMCA Training, Inc. is placing a special focus on underserved communities, including low income women residing in shelters, immigrants, laid-off and under-employed workers who have greater barriers to employment and re-employment than the broader population.

Women are often at a disproportionate disadvantage in the workforce. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, almost 60 percent of all low wage workers are female compared to 44 percent of higher wage workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also notes women’s re-employment rate is roughly six percent lower than men’s. In addition, young workers also see a disproportionate disadvantage in the workforce as compared to the broader population. According to the Economic Policy Institute, young adults represent 13.5 percent of the workforce but account for 26.4 percent of unemployed workers.

Selected through a competitive funding process, the grants will help YMCA Training, Inc. fund a comprehensive set of resources to help people be successful in today’s workplace such as career counseling, technology skills training, job placement and additional support services such as childcare and transportation. The mission of YMCA Training, Inc. is to provide low-income adults both native born and immigrants, in Greater Boston with the highest quality technical and office support skills training necessary to secure professional employment in positions that offer family-sustaining wages, benefits, career advancement opportunities, and a path to self-sufficiency.

“Since 1851, the YMCA of Greater Boston has welcomed newcomers to Greater Boston, providing social, educational and vocational opportunities to thousands of new arrivals. Our early commitment to adult education in the 1890’s resulted in the development of the YMCA Evening Institute and the Automobile School which eventually became Northeastern University. In this difficult economy, I am proud of the extraordinary work done by YMCA Training, Inc. to help new arrivals, the underemployed, under-served, and others striving to re-enter the workforce. YMCA Training, Inc. enables people to develop the skills and support they need to secure better jobs with the best employers.” Elsa Bengel, Executive Director, Education & Training Branch.

YMCA Training, Inc. has demonstrated how our approach to providing people with technology and job training resources can be scaled at the end of the two years, with the goal of creating replicable models to expand to additional communities.

“Too many Americans don’t have the technology skills that many jobs today require,” said Pamela Passman, corporate vice president of Global Corporate Affairs at Microsoft. YMCA Training, Inc.  has demonstrated how they can reach some of the most underserved people in our society, and we’re honored to partner with them to provide training and job support to the people that need it most.”

“At Microsoft, we are committed to providing people with technology access and skills training to help them find employment,” said Anissa Battaglino, Operations and Community Manager for Microsoft’s Northeast District. “As a company, we believe we can have the greatest positive impact by working with partners who can bring the benefits of technology skills and training to people in our local communities.  That’s why we’re delighted to announce that the YMCA of Greater Boston’s Training Inc. is receiving an Elevate America community initiative grant, which will enable them to provide training and job support to the people that need it most.”

Since 2003, Microsoft has been committed to providing technology skills training to people across the country through its Unlimited Potential program, which includes Elevate America. In partnership with thousands of nonprofit organizations including YMCA Training, Inc. the company has reached more than 27 million people. More information on Elevate America is available at More information on YMCA Training, Inc. is available at


Elsa Bengel