Community Skills Program to meet the needs of Black & African American Community

Last date: 
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
United States

Detailed Description

Microsoft is seeking applications for its Community Skills Program that provides resources, supports, and services to meet the unique needs of the Black and African American community.

COVID-19 has created an economic crisis, forcing millions of Americans out of work. Many of the jobs lost won’t come back, and those that do come back will require more digital skills.

Black and African American communities have been disproportionately affected by this crisis. On top of the sobering health impacts, these communities are bearing the brunt of the economic burden. Black and African American workers in the US are the most likely to have been laid off due to COVID, and they and many other marginalized communities have been more susceptible to shift reductions and lost income.

To address the acute, longstanding inequities in the US and provide pathways to improved economic opportunity for Black and African American communities, must invest in programs to help them gain access to the digital skills needed for in-demand roles in a changing economy.

Program Approach

With help from a steering committee of community leaders, the Microsoft developed a program to provide up to 50 selected nonprofits who serve the Black and African American community with:

Funding: Three-year unrestricted cash grants of up to $100,000 per year for up to 50 eligible US nonprofit organizations

Leadership development: Led by an industry expert, convene a community of practice to share learnings, strengthen networks, and offer professional development to the leaders of grantee organizations.

Technology enablement: To help grantees build capacity and advance their digital transformation, they’ll have access to digital concierge and consulting services and to donate software and services from Microsoft.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Program applications are open to US-based, 501(C)3 nonprofit organizations, or organizations supported by a 501(C)3 fiduciary organization that:
  • Focus their work on and are led by members of the Black and African American community
  • Provide digital and professional skills development leading to increased employment opportunities in tech or tech-enabled roles for opportunity youth (16-24 years old) and adult job seekers.
  • Eligible organizations must also operate on a not-for-profit basis and have a mission to benefit the local community that could include, but is not limited to: providing relief to the poor, advancing education, improving social welfare, preserving culture, preserving or restoring the environment, promoting human rights, the establishment of civil society.


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