PASADENA, Texas – Kimberly Sanchez's plan for taking a local computer course was to pick up a few new skills, spruce up her resume, and apply for some jobs online. What she picked up was employment.
Sanchez was a participant of the inaugural Basic Computer Workplace Skills course offered at the Cleveland-Ripley Neighborhood Center in Pasadena last month with curriculum delivered by the San Jacinto College Continuing and Professional Development (CPD) division. She learned about the free course through The Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Her classmate, Sara Corey, also received a call for a job interview after posting her resume online during a class project and was hired by Eagle Collision.
"Because of this class, I was hired for a job," said Sanchez, a single mother of three children who was hired by Home Depot as a customer service representative. "Now that I have these new computer skills, they are going to keep me in mind for an office position. I'm even thinking about going back to school, transferring to San Jacinto College."
The five-week course, funded by the Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG), covered lessons on how to use Microsoft Word, type a basic resume, how to conduct an online job search and complete an online job application, how to use Excel, and the basic operations of a computer. For student Jacqueline Jackson, the course helped her overcome some of the intimidation associated with first-time computer users.
"I am grateful to God for this opportunity," said Jackson. "Before this class, all I could do was turn on a computer. Now, it's no longer a machine to me, but a computer."
Offering this type of class to community members provides an invaluable service for anyone looking for employment in today's technologically savvy job search environment, according to Margie Pena, community developer with Neighborhood Centers Inc. In addition to more companies and organizations relying on online applications for their hiring process, GED testing is phasing out paper and going online, says Jerelyn Hughes-Glenn, director of computer and IT training with the College's CPD division.
Hughes-Glenn recently addressed the 10 participants upon their completion of the Basic Computer Workplace Skills course at the Neighborhood Center and said, "You have now entered the education system, and we want to see you one day walk across that stage to shake hands with our chancellor."
"This class puts you in the 21st century and gives you the ability to use computers in everyday life, from shopping at a grocery store to helping your children with their homework to transitioning into a job that uses computers," Hughes-Glenn noted. "This is why we're here, to serve our community."
The San Jacinto College CPD division will soon offer a bank teller course at the Cleveland-Ripley Neighborhood Center.
About the Continuing and Professional Development division
This division at San Jacinto College provides continuing education and training for both current and future employees in the professional and technical job sectors, as well as provides the public with noncredit open enrollment course options to enhance their lives. Professional and technical training is available through contract training, open enrollment, and grant funding. For more information, call 281-476-1838 or visit the Continuing and Professional Development division website.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.