By Samantha Greenfield
One of the top challenges for many of today's job seekers is a lack of technical knowledge and abilities. The good news is that help is out there.
Most of today's job applications are online and many company websites require you to have an email address to even apply. If you feel like you are not able to apply for jobs because you are not comfortable on a computer, be aware that there are lots of free or low cost computer classes in our area just waiting for you to take advantage of. Below is a list of computer training providers in our area as well as free websites that provide computer classes and tutorials:
Handley Regional Library
100 W. Piccadilly St., Winchester
Phone: 540 662-9041, ext.19
Mary Jane & James L. Bowman Library
Phone: 540 869-9000, ext. 203
Free computer workshops are offered monthly, limit six people per workshop. Some class days may be changed due to instructor availability. Advanced registration required. Topics include:
• Getting to know the computer
• Introduction to the computer
• Basic email
• Beginning MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher & Access
Literacy Volunteers-Winchester Area
301 N. Cameron St., Suite 102, Winchester, VA
Offers 8 week courses in keyboarding, Microsoft Word, introduction to computers and Excel. Fees range from $25 to $40
330 E. Criser Rd, Front Royal, VA 22630
Free classes meet on Tuesdays in the Samuels Library computer lab. A different subject is covered each month. Topics include:
Basic mouse and basic skills
Beginning MS Word
Publisher & Access
Lord Fairfax Community College/Workforce Solutions
Absolute Beginners Guide to Computers: $225.00
Loudoun County Workforce Resource Center
Workforce Resource Center
102 Heritage Way, N.E. First Floor, rear entrance
Leesburg, VA 20176
• Microsoft Powerpoint, Excel
Dell Learning System (Lab Time): This is an interactive computer-based learning system which allows participants to develop, refresh or enhance their skills in either Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 applications. Pre-requisites: You must have basic computer skills, knowledge of how to navigate the Internet, and typing skills.
Computers are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, check with front desk for available times. Call the center to check on availability.
Free online resources
Goodwill Learning Foundation:
• GCFLearnFree.org creates and provides quality, innovative online learning opportunities to anyone who wants to improve the technology, literacy and math skills needed to be successful in both work and life.
Digital Literacy portal:
• The Digital Literacy portal,l digital literacy.gov, is an initiative of the Obama administration to serve as a resource to practitioners who are delivering digital literacy training and services in their communities.
• Free online typing lessons, tutorials and tests
• Over 400 free online courses in digital literacy, financial literacy, health and safety, personal development and business skills
• Free online tutorials and webinars on a wide variety of Microsoft Office products, including 2010 versions of Powerpoint, Access, Excel, Word, Outlook, Publisher and many other subjects.
Samantha Greenfield is a re-employment specialist with the Virginia Employment Commission/Winchester Workforce Center. Email her at Samantha.Greenfield@vec.virginia.gov