Microsoft, Saint Martin's University announce new program for active duty service members

lpemberton@theolympian.comNovember 5, 2013 

Redmond-based Microsoft and Saint Martin’s University in Lacey have launched a new program to provide software development training to active duty service members transitioning out of the military.

REUTERS/BOGDAN CRISTEL

Redmond-based Microsoft and Saint Martin’s University in Lacey have launched a new program to provide software development training to active duty service members transitioning out of the military.

The 16-week Microsoft Software & Systems Academy is being piloted at Saint Martin’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord campus. The course is designed to prepare veterans for technology careers such as developer and IT project manager. Those who complete the pilot program will be hired into entry-level roles as software testers by Microsoft or Launch Consulting, according to a news release issued Monday by Microsoft.

“American service members possess the drive, self-discipline and problem-solving skills that are essential for the technology industry,” Microsoft executive vice president and general counsel Brad Smith said in the news release. “The Microsoft Software & Systems Academy is a bridge between one great career – serving in the U.S. military – and another, creating technologies that improve lives.”

Company officials said the program was inspired by the “VOW to Hire Heroes Act” legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and signed into law in 2011.

“Providing on-the-job training for transitioning service members into high-tech jobs is exactly what our legislation was written to accomplish,” Murray said in the news release. “Our veterans have the talent and training to succeed in any workplace, and the technology industry is a particularly great fit.”

The program’s first cohort of students will be honored at a special ceremony at Saint Martin’s Lacey campus on Dec. 2, according to university spokeswoman Meg Nugent Dwyer.

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