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JBSA dedicates new technology career training program for military spouses

By David DeKunder | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | Sept. 30, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —

Joint Base San Antonio leaders and representatives from Microsoft marked the start of a new career training program geared towards military spouses at a ribbon-cutting event at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Military & Family Readiness Center Sept. 27.

The Microsoft Military Spouse Technology Academy is a 22-week training program that provides skills to military spouses to prepare them for a career in the technology industry, specifically in cloud application development.

JBSA is the second location to have a Microsoft Military Spouse Technology Academy, which started as a pilot program in Tacoma, Washington, last year.

Danny Chung, Microsoft military affairs chief of staff, said of the 19 military spouses who participated in the pilot program, 18 of them are now employed while one spouse is seeking a college degree.

Chung said program prepares military spouses for technology industry jobs such as software developer, software engineer and cloud programmer.

“We give them the foundation and our learning path that we’re teaching them is called cloud application development,” Chung said. “And what we teach them is a lot of introductory programming languages. We teach them the basics and we teach them all the fundamental tools needed to get their feet in the door for a technology career.”

Chung said the skills that will be taught in the Microsoft Military Spouse Technology Academy are for careers in high demand.

“The cloud is our filing cabinet for the globe,” he said. “So we need more and more of those technicians who know how to program languages, who know how to fix errors when they happen.”

Fourteen students have signed up for the program’s class at JBSA, which will be held at a site off of the installation.

“It’s a talented class,” Chung said. “I personally vetted each and every student before I accepted them into this program and I will tell you that ultimately our success metric is not putting them through this training, which is not why we are doing this, the ultimate success metric is getting them meaningful employment in the technology field.”

Chung said he spent a year and a half searching for the second location for the Microsoft Military Spouse Technology Academy. He said San Antonio was among several other cities, including Jacksonville, Florida, Hampton Roads, Virginia, San Diego and the Washington, D.C. area, that were considered.

“By the time we had done our research, there was no question that we wanted to come to San Antonio,” Chung said.

Chung said local corporations and city and JBSA officials are supportive of the program.

“The support that we got from JBSA officials was through the roof,” he said.

Col. Peter Velesky, JBSA and 502nd Air Base Wing deputy commander, spoke about the impact the program will have for military spouses.

“This program empowers and helps educate our spouses while they seek employment and higher education,” Velesky said. “We can’t thank Microsoft enough for implementing this fantastic program as they will set these men and women up for success in the business world and in reality bring more economic dominance to the United States overall.”

More information about the Microsoft Military Spouse Technology Academy can be found at https://military.microsoft.com/programs/msta/.