For Immediate Release
June 11, 2021
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(BPRW) Accelerate: New York aimed at tackling unemployment in the metropolitan area with new opportunities for underserved communities

Coalition of Microsoft, The Estée Lauder Companies, KPMG and others establishes digital skills programs and hiring partnerships to increase employability for diverse, local talent in the tri-state area

(Black PR Wire) NEW YORK Microsoft Corp., in collaboration with corporate, learning and community partners, announced the launch of Accelerate: New York. The program will provide a pathway from skilling to employment for community members in the tri-state area to bridge the digital skills divide and route people to diverse and equitable hiring and re-employment opportunities. Job seekers in all five boroughs of New York City, Connecticut and New Jersey can start their journey toward their career reinvigoration today, with programs, events and opportunities available now at

“Like so many regions across the country, the tri-state area is building its economy back in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kate Johnson, president of Microsoft U.S. “Alongside our civic, learning and corporate partners, we’re hopeful that the Accelerate program can help expand economic opportunity and provide the skills needed to support an inclusive, equitable recovery.”

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 the region 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:

  • Community partners, including The Business Council of New York State, Inc., Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), New York City Small Business Services, the New York City Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, and TechPACT, 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 CanCode, General Assembly, Generation USA, NPower, SUNY Attain, Springboard, Upwardly Global 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 empower job seekers for the next step in their career.
  • Corporate partners, including The Estée Lauder Companies and KPMG, will help scale the skilling agenda and workforce employability with commitments in hiring the newly skilled workforce.
  • 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 New York locals impacted by the global pandemic and racial inequities in access to education. The New York metro area, like others, faces an increased unemployment rate, and has a large population tied to COVID-19-impacted industries such as leisure and hospitality, transportation, etc., 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: New York 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: New York 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 here.

Microsoft also announced today the expansion of its Airband Initiative to help connect communities of color to affordable high-speed internet with Starry Inc. in New York City and seven other cities in the U.S. To expand digital equity in NYC, we will also partner with human-I-T to offer free and low-cost affordable devices and EveryoneOn to help folks enroll in digital skilling.

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.