Digital Alliance between Normal town and Microsoft to provide digital skills, STEM education and entrepreneurship resources
The town of Normal, Illinois and Microsoft reached a 24 month alliance to provide digital skills training for workforce, promote STEM education and support entrepreneurship in the community. In order to achieve this, Microsoft will offer software products for small businesses, organize diverse events in collaboration with the local government and provide a self-paced Digital Literacy Curriculum to help workers gain basic as well as advanced computing skills.
The agreement seeks to strengthen the existing talent pool thus providing better opportunities for the workforce from the region. In order to do this, it provides resources for students who will be soon entering the labor market, current employers and small businesses that will be able to use tools such as Azure and BizSpark for the operation of their businesses. It shows an example of public private collaboration to provide access to training opportunities and digital literacy.
According to Normal’s Mayor, Chris Koos, the Digital Alliance will help provide both, youths and adults, with access to ICT related tools and training to join the workforce. This is relevant mostly after the recent closing of a factory leaving 1,400 unemployed individuals in the town. According to the major, it should also promote technology entrepreneurship within the community.