TECI (Technology Essentials Core Initiative) launched in spring 2021. Its goal -- to put computers and internet service inside the homes of job seekers. A volunteer tech squad delivers the equipment, sets up the system to connect to Wi-Fi, and teaches some basic-use skills. Since its inception, 31 people have received laptops, a wireless mouse, and connection to a low-cost internet provider if needed.
To both monitor and address participant needs and evaluate the success of TECI we conduct three-, six-, and twelve-month assessments. One of the primary goals of the program, beyond tech access, is for job seekers to improve their computer skills. At this time, 84 percent of those who have completed at least one assessment report increased computer skills. Total assessment results for year one are expected early in 2023.
On-Going Skill Development
In addition to learning how a computer is impacting job seekers’ lives, we’ve identified that many need additional skill development to participate in existing, online computer-training classes. To address this, Daily Work started a monthly, in-person computer-skills group staffed by volunteers on Saturday mornings.
The monthly sessions include tactical support aimed at skill development, and provide the opportunity for additional assistance via Zoom or Google Meet between the Saturday sessions. The goal is to assist job seekers in building foundational skills that will allow them to pursue other learning opportunities that already exist in the nonprofit community.
In the first three sessions, the computer skills group supported seven different job seekers, some multiple times. Our gratitude goes out to volunteers Simon Benarrock and Madhesh Rajasekhar who have been instrumental in getting the program up and running. In addition, Debi Clapsaddle and Colin King provide installation services in job seeker's homes.
Have tech knowledge to share? Contact Judy Sharken Simon: firstname.lastname@example.org