Brotherhood Crusade Receives Elevate America Community Initiative Grant from Microsoft Grant will fund program to help underserved populations in South Los Angeles find jobs. The Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade today announced that Microsoft is awarding $250,000 in cash as well as the software needed to help the organization offer technology and vocational skills training, supportive services and job placement services to the South Los Angeles community. In today's technology driven economy, finding a job without strong technology skills and during a tough economic downturn can be extremely difficult. To help ease this burden, Brotherhood Crusade is partnering with Microsoft through the company's Elevate America community initiative, to provide technology access and skills training to help people find employment. Brotherhood Crusade is placing a special focus on underserved communities, including women, young adults, and low-income youth who have greater barriers to employment and re-employment than the broader population.Young workers see a disproportionate disadvantage in the workforce as compared to the broader population. According to the Economic Policy Institute, young adults represent 13.5 percent of the workforce but account for 26.4 percent of unemployed workers. This issue is compounded in South Los Angeles where youth and young adults are also challenged by perennially low-performing schools, disproportionately high levels of gang and youth violence, and a significant lack of local family-supporting wage career opportunities.Selected through a competitive funding process, the grants will help Brotherhood Crusade fund a comprehensive set of resources to help people be successful in today's workplace such as career counseling, technology skills training, job placement and additional support services such as childcare and transportation. Providing these resources will enable Brotherhood Crusade to continue to support families and individuals by promoting health and wellness, providing and enhancing educational opportunities, cultivating economic growth and building community agencies and institutions. "Communities cannot thrive without systems of service and support that allow its citizens to achieve basic standards for quality of life," said Charisse Bremond, President and CEO of Brotherhood Crusade. "Ms. Celeste Alleyne and the entire team at Microsoft clearly understand this universal truth. This initiative will have an immediate and far-reaching impact on the lives of thousands of South Los Angeles residents. We are honored that they have selected to partner with our coalition to carry out this great work." Brotherhood Crusade has demonstrated how our approach to providing people with technology and job training resources can be scaled at the end of the two years, with the goal of creating replicable models to expand to additional communities. "Too many Americans don't have the technology skills that many jobs today require," said Pamela Passman, corporate vice president of Global Corporate Affairs at Microsoft. "Brotherhood Crusade has demonstrated how they can reach some of the most underserved people in our society, and we're honored to partner with them to provide training and job support to the people that need it most.""We are proud to be partnering with Microsoft and our collaborative partners, Community Centers, Inc., City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department, EXPO Center, Tavis Smiley Foundation, West Angeles Community Development Corporation, African American Unity Center and the Weingart Y in effectuating this effort," Bremond continued. "This initiative expands upon and extends our work with Verizon Foundation, the California Consumer Protection Foundation, Wells Fargo, American Honda and South Los Angeles Building Healthy Communities (part of The California Endowment Building Healthy Communities Initiative)." "There are so many wonderful organizations in Los Angeles helping our communities get back into the workforce, however I am so proud of the work that Brotherhood Crusade has done and will continue to do to lead this charge with their partners. They are diligent in their efforts and care deeply for their constituents. They believe in the power of technology to empower people. We're delighted that the Brotherhood Crusade will be supported through Microsoft's Elevate America community initiative, and we look forward to working closely together," commented Celeste Alleyne, West Region Citizenship Director, MicrosoftSince 2003, Microsoft has been committed to providing technology skills training to people across the country through its Unlimited Potential program, which includes Elevate America. In partnership with thousands of nonprofit organizations including Brotherhood Crusade, the company has reached more than 27 million people. More information on Elevate America is available at http://www.microsoft.com/ElevateAmerica. More information on Brotherhood Crusade is available at http://www.brotherhoodcrusade.org.