As part of his keynote address at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum (GLF) Europe 2006, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced the company will expand its funding and support for its Unlimited Potential (UP) program by $25.2 million to a total of more than $152 million in cash and software for community technology centers (CTCs). CTCs provide basic technology skills and job training in underserved communities around the globe, and the latest round of Microsoft UP grants will support 126 nonprofit organizations that are expanding existing programs or opening new CTCs in 64 countries, bringing the number of centers to 36,000 and the estimated number of people who can benefit from the centers to more than 15 million.

"Access to training and technology skills is a key success factor in creating employment opportunities in underserved communities," Gates said. "Europe's unemployed are a major concern of governments we are working with, and our Unlimited Potential grants are supporting innovative partnerships that bring new skills to those who need them."

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