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Technology can do amazing things, and a grant from the Microsoft Corporation is helping The Center for Rural Development further its mission as a leading provider of educational technology services.

The Center, a nonprofit organization based in Somerset, has been awarded a $51,434 grant for Microsoft software to provide technology-based educational services and support to Kentucky residents.

The grant was presented through the corporation’s Microsoft Citizenship efforts, which partners with thousands of organizations around the world to help each achieve its mission. As a result of these partnerships, Microsoft provides technology tools, training, and resources that can help create opportunities and transform communities.

“This generous grant from Microsoft will help keep us on the forefront of leading technologies,” said Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center. “Through our Technology Focus Area, The Center is giving people in our region and throughout Kentucky unprecedented access and connectivity to meet their needs in today’s high-tech marketplace.”

The Center provides and supports distance learning opportunities for more than 100,000 students, worldwide videoconferencing capabilities, and digital media content delivery.

“We utilize our IT systems and skills to improve the chances for individuals to gain access to educational opportunities,” said Larry Combs, director of business services for The Center. “The lasting benefit is a better educated citizenry and workforce in an economically distressed region.”

Microsoft Corporation, an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Wash., was founded in 1975 by Paul Allen and Bill Gates.

For more information about The Center’s technology and business services, call 606-677-6000 or email