Goodwill in Tacoma is enrolling students for late summer and fall sessions of their popular Computer & Office Skills job training, free to those who are unemployed.
Starting dates are July 18, Aug. 22, Sept. 26 and Oct. 31. Currently about 30 seats remain as classes fill up fast for this Washington State certified program that also works to place graduates into initial jobs.
At the Milgard Work Opportunity Center (714 S. 27th St.), students learn the computer skills most commonly used in the workplace and those valued by employers. Courses include keyboarding, Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook. Upon successful completion of the coursework students can type professional business letters, create and modify charts and attach files to emails among other necessary office skills.
“Our classes are equivalent to Word and Excel 101 at the community college level,” says Aaron Tran, Computer & Office Skills Program Coordinator.
Those with a sensory disability or mobility impairment can be accommodated. Both voice recognition software and screen magnification are available and the Computer Lab houses adaptive workstations.
Besides learning basic computer skills, students also spend time honing their office etiquette. They practice good customer service, phone manners, learn how to set appointments, how to manage their time and how to control emotions in the workplace.
Upon successful completion of Computer & Office Skills, students spend three weeks in an internship. Two of Goodwill’s partners that offer these internships are Bates Technical College and Comprehensive Life Resources, both in Tacoma.
Even before students participate in their internship, instructors send them job leads. A staff person also helps them create a resume and another leads them in mock interviews so they know how to respond in an actual interview.
The only requirements for signing up for Computer & Office Skills are that students be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma or a GED and read at an 8th grade level. In some cases, Tran may approve attendance for students who are simultaneously working on getting their GED. There’s no charge for the classes or the textbooks.