MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Sept 8, 2023) – Microsoft TechSpark awarded a $50,000 grant to TechFluent, a Minnesota-based nonprofit, to foster inclusive economic opportunities, job creation and innovation through greater access to tech training.
The national nonprofit is dedicated to reducing income inequality in under-resourced communities by providing mentorship and training on Dynamics 365 and Power Platform. The Microsoft grant allows TechFluent to expand its highly sought after training cohorts from 25 participants to 100. Last year, nearly 300 people applied for a spot in the program.
“A more diverse talent pool drives innovation and success throughout our communities,” TechFluent Executive Director Liz McGlennen said. “TechFluent helps people of all socio-economic backgrounds expand their digital skillsets and launch careers in technology. This grant gives us the momentum boost to reach our long-term goal of placing 1,000 people in competitive tech jobs.”
TechFluent’s six-month program provides hands-on experience with Dynamics 365, an in-demand skillset. The course culminates with a Microsoft certification that helps participants land technical and analyst jobs within industries such as consulting, public sector, IT and construction. 37 people have graduated from the course since its inception in 2022. Upon graduating, alumni pursue consulting and full-time roles with average salaries starting at $50k to $70k year. Alumni often work with Microsoft Partners, including program sponsor and Minnesota company Stoneridge Software.
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced the expansion of its TechSpark program to tackle digital inclusion in four focus areas: digital access, digital skills, computer science education and digital transformation with local based organizations. TechSpark has helped its eight communities skill 55,000 people and create 3,300 jobs. The grant also honored McGlennen as a TechSpark Community Engagement Fellow, which included participation in a two-day summit at Microsoft in September.
"Since we launched TechSpark in 2017, we’ve helped communities secure more than $125 million in funding and helped create thousands of jobs,” said Kate Behncken, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Philanthropies. "By expanding TechSpark to all 50 states, we hope to continue our hyperlocal, partner-driven work to help communities realize the potential of technology and foster greater economic opportunity."
TechFluent is a nonprofit organization on a mission to reduce income inequality by providing mentoring and training on Microsoft Power Platform, D365 and professional skills. We are preparing the next generation of diverse Microsoft technology professionals with the goal of helping people of color and women start careers in Microsoft tech. TechFluent was founded in 2021 in Minneapolis, MN, and helps people across the country access in-demand technology jobs.