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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Accelerate Miami-Dade aimed at tackling unemployment in the county with new opportunities for underserved communities

October 7, 2021 GMT
Microsoft company logo. (PRNewsFoto/Microsoft Corp.) (PRNewsfoto/Microsoft Corp.)
Microsoft company logo. (PRNewsFoto/Microsoft Corp.) (PRNewsfoto/Microsoft Corp.)
Microsoft company logo. (PRNewsFoto/Microsoft Corp.) (PRNewsfoto/Microsoft Corp.)

MIAMI, Oct. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp., in collaboration with private- and public-sector partners, announced the launch of Accelerate Miami-Dade. The program aims to provide a pathway from skilling to employment for Miami-Dade residents to bridge the digital skills divide and route people to diverse and equitable hiring and re-employment opportunities. Job seekers in Miami-Dade can start their journey toward their career reinvigoration today, with programs, events and opportunities available now at aka.ms/AccelerateMiamiDade.

“As Miami-Dade builds its economy back in the wake of COVID-19,” said Deb Cupp, president of Microsoft U.S., “the Accelerate program expands economic opportunity and provides the skills needed to support an inclusive, equitable recovery. We’re proud to work with our civic, learning and corporate partners to bring this program to the county.”

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“We are committed to making sure that everyone in Miami-Dade can participate and take advantage of the technology boom of our time by expanding access to learning opportunities that open the door to new, better-paying jobs,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “I’m thrilled to launch this partnership with Microsoft to accelerate our residents’ technology skills, especially in the most underserved communities. Our community needs better access to technology education at all ages, and this program will help us accomplish that.”

As digital capabilities rapidly progress, digital skills across local communities must keep pace. The Accelerate program brings together a unique set of public and private partnerships specific to Miami-Dade to unlock new economic opportunities and create a local pipeline that empowers individuals both to learn skills for high-demand jobs and support connection to hiring opportunities. Accelerate is fundamentally different from other skilling initiatives as the model is based on an ecosystem partnership that provides upskilling, re-skilling and cross-skilling for in-demand jobs and a path to employment that supports their careers long term. Together, we are establishing a sustainable system that generates economic and community impact, targeted to community members susceptible to job displacement and unemployment:

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  • Community partners, including Beacon Council, Greater Miami Chamber, Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and United Way Miami, will help mobilize the community with the deep understanding of the local needs and connecting those who can benefit most from increased digital equity and opportunities to get back to work.
  • Learning partners, including General Assembly, Generation USA, Goodwill, Miami-Dade College, Notre Dame Tech Lab, Springboard and Year Up, will help deliver the curriculum and drive delivery and execution of the skilling and credentials programs to provide tailored digital training that empowers job seekers for the next step in their career.
  • Microsoft is providing resources for mobilization globally, free courses across Microsoft Learn and LinkedIn aligned to the top 10 most in-demand jobs, and working to help 250,000 companies make a skills-based hire this year with LinkedIn.

The initiative supports the needs of Miami-Dade locals impacted by the global pandemic and racial inequities in access to education. Miami-Dade, like other counties, faces an increased unemployment rate and has a large population tied to COVID-19-impacted industries such as manufacturing, financial services, transportation, tourism and professional services in the region. Expanding access to digital skills is a critical first step in improving employability to help build local economic recovery, especially for the people hardest hit by job losses. The Accelerate Miami-Dade program is designed to benefit those students and service workers with low digital skills, in addition to those with moderate or high digital skills (the existing digitally fluent population) who could benefit from upskilling and cross-skilling. The result is a broad offering that works to address the needs of people who require digital skills to stay competitive and empower them to seize the employment opportunities of the future.

Accelerate Miami-Dade is the latest U.S. implementation of Microsoft’s global skills initiative, an ambitious plan to help people worldwide acquire new digital skills, and furthers recent commitments from Microsoft and LinkedIn to help 250,000 companies make a skills-based hire in 2021. More information can be found at this U.S. partner blog post.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Perspectives From Accelerate Miami-Dade Member Organizations

“Providing equitable access to digital skills training creates long-term career pathways for our residents, unlocking the type of economic opportunities that strengthen communities,” said Michael A. Finney, president and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council. “Miami’s success — today and tomorrow — hinges on our ability to foster a culture of innovation and empowering our diverse workforce to evolve, adapt and grow. Microsoft’s Accelerate Miami-Dade initiative serves as a model for the kind of positive, systemic change that can be driven when the public and private sectors work together for greater good. As the official economic development partnership for Miami-Dade County, we are committed to this effort and appreciate the investments that Microsoft is making in our community.”

“The current boom in our tech ecosystem makes it an exciting time in Miami. That growth will mean higher paying jobs, and we have an obligation to make sure those jobs are available to all,” said Alfred Sanchez, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. “As the champion for business and economic prosperity in Greater Miami, the Chamber is proud to partner with Accelerate South Florida, an initiative of Microsoft, to help our labor force acquire the new digital skills in demand and ensure we bridge the digital divide.”

“Miami has accelerated its tech presence, with Microsoft stepping in and providing the needed resources for the most valuable commodity, our residents,” said G. Eric. Knowles, president and CEO of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce. “This truly will ensure that Miami will meet the demand of the future.”

“We are excited to join Microsoft, local government and community leaders to offer the Accelerate program in Miami because it will be very impactful,” said Madeline Pumariega, president of Miami Dade College. “It will allow us to provide new pathways for our students and the community, and aligns perfectly with one of our main goals — to prepare a talented workforce equipped with the necessary skills to thrive in the current job market, while fueling the local economy.”

“The partnership with the Microsoft Accelerate program is a new approach to technology in Little Haiti. It is a break from mediocrity that will help our community thrive with a WAY OUT and not a HANDOUT,” said Father Reginald Jean-Mary, pastor, administrator of Notre Dame D’Haiti and CEO of the Pierre Toussaint Leadership and Learning Center.

“Miami is primed for growth,” said Sean Segal, CEO at Generation USA. “Our plan and partnership with Microsoft to use Miami Dade College’s track record of excellence in instruction, paired with Generation’s expertise in support and placement, put us on track to train at scale to help people find careers with a sustainable future in the southwest Florida.”

“This program will create a significant impact in our community,” said Margaret Brisbane, Miami-Dade County’s chief information officer and IT director. “Providing the tools to upskill and develop digital talent in our underserved communities will surely be a game changer for job seekers.”

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SOURCE Microsoft Corp.