This 2014 photo shows the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

This 2014 photo shows the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Microsoft announces additional $110M in local COVID relief

In addition to paying its employees, the company will provide school districts with free technology.

Associated Press

SEATTLE — As Washington state continues to reel from the pandemic, Microsoft has announced an additional $110 million of support for schools, nonprofits and hourly workers in the region.

The company has continued paying the workers who staff its lobbies, cafes and shuttlebuses, and who perform audiovisual and other tasks, even as they haven’t been needed on campus.

It said Thursday it will continue to do so until the campus fully re-opens, which isn’t expected before July. Microsoft has already spent $110 million on their wages and anticipates spending $50 million more through March.

In addition, the company said it would spend an additional $60 million in cash and in-kind contributions to support nonprofit organizations in Washington state, beyond the $98 million it’s already provided.

And, as Gov. Jay Inslee this week urged schools to consider reopening for younger and needier pupils, Microsoft said that it would provide school districts with free technology to track and report COVID-19 testing data within district boundaries.

Microsoft said it will also donate personal protection equipment and cleaning supplies, through the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, for any school districts that need additional supplies to reopen safely.

In its announcement Thursday, the company said that while it’s crucial to inoculate frontline health workers, teachers also should be prioritized for vaccines.

“We recognize that Governor Inslee and the leaders at the Department of Health will need to make the critical decisions about the precise order of who can be vaccinated and when,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a blog post. “We believe that if teachers, school administrators and staff in higher risk categories at the K-5 level were eligible to get a Covid vaccine in January, it would help these schools take a critical step towards reopening more quickly.”

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Workers build the first all-electric commuter plane, the Eviation Alice, at Eviation's plant on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021 in Arlington, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
All eyes on Alice, the electric plane made in Arlington

If all goes well, Eviation’s battery-powered airplane will make its debut test flight later this year.

Bufeng Gao, owner of Qin Xi'an Noodles, receives a check from the Edmonds Chamber Foundation's Wish Fund outside of her restaurant that was burned in a fire on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 in Edmonds, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After arson burns Edmonds plaza, 14 businesses need help

Plum Tree Plaza — a cultural hub for Asian Americans — burned in a three-alarm fire early Sept. 11.

Report: Criminal indictment coming for former Boeing official

Mark Forkner was the 737 Max Chief Technical Pilot who is alleged to have lied to aviation regulators.

Hand drawn vector illustration of bottle of red wine and two glasses. Abstract cartoon style isolated.
You voted: The best wine list in Snohomish County

Even during a pandemic, folks still have their favorites.

Boeing sells land for $200M in plan to shrink holdings

Boeing has sold 310 acres of undeveloped land next to its Frederickson manufacturing plant.

Washington August jobless rate was 5.1%; 16,800 jobs added

August’s rate was the same as July’s rate, and increased even as COVID-19 cases surge.

Boeing moving 150 jobs from Washington and California to Texas

The affected jobs are in the company’s global parts distribution unit.

Commercial Aircraft Interiors General Manager James Barnett stands in a warehouse aisle of 777 overhead bins at the company's new building on Monday, May 20, 2019 in Arlington, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
12 Snohomish County aero firms get $19M for job protection

The Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection grants could save 2,280 Washington jobs for up to six months.

FILE - The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Despite the pandemic's damage to air travel, Boeing says it's optimistic about long-term demand for airplanes. Boeing said Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 that it expects the aerospace market to be worth $9 trillion over the next decade. That includes planes for airlines and military uses and other aerospace products and services. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)
Pandemic hasn’t dimmed Boeing’s rosy prediction for planes

The company is bullishly predicting a $9 trillion market over the next decade.

Genna Martin / The Herald
David Barney, owner of Barney's Pastrami on Evergreen, has changed the last names of the dozens of celebrities who's photos hang on the wall of his restaurant to Barney.  The newly named celebrities include Humphrey Barney, Uma Barney, Marilyn Barney, Olivia Newton-Barney and Stevie Ray Barney.  
Photo taken 11252014
Where’s Barney? His pastrami shop has served its last hoagie

Even the Evergreen Way deli’s landlord is looking for him. David Barney has vanished.

Tasty and healthy asian food - spicy ramen with wheat noodle, meat, eggs and onion in white pot with chopsticks. Vector illustration of traditional korean cuisine for menu, recipe books or printing
You voted: The best Vietnamese food in Snohomish County

Even during a pandemic, folks still have their favorites.

School-age lead Emilee Swenson pulls kids around in a wagon at Tomorrow’s Hope child care center on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 in Everett, Washington. A shortage of child care workers prompted HopeWorks, a nonprofit, to expand its job training programs. Typically, the programs help people with little or no work experience find a job. The new job training program is for people interested in becoming child care workers. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
HopeWorks to offer career training for child care workers

The Everett nonprofit hopes to train workers as child care centers struggle to hire staff.