A newly launched pilot program will give Williamsburg-based Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) another chance to live up to its name. Over the next year, 90 young adults from low-income neighborhoods will learn computer and digital literacy by taking part in the Digital Career Path.
The program, which is funded by the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC), is offered by OBT, in partnership with The Learning About Multimedia Project (LAMP), an organization that specializes in providing media literacy in schools. Over 10 weeks, Instructor Miguel Pacheco will teach Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, social networking, introductions to HTML coding and graphic design, audio / video, tagging, blogging and other computer skills to 18 students as they prepare for the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification (MOS) and the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Professional Certification in Customer Service.
Once their coursework is completed, participants will take part in a paid 40-hour internship with Mobile Works, a private company that employs individuals to do various online tasks for companies like Amazon and eBay. Work will range from simple business card digitization tasks to more complex assignments in photo editing and tagging, electronic transcription, as well as online research.
“I’m doing this program to get myself ready to get a job and to strengthen up my skills,” said student Ahmed Reaz. Bushwick resident Maritza Gonzalez “figured that every job needs some sort of computer skills,” and wanted to upgrade hers. “Hopefully I learn something new that I can use in school and eventually in the workplace.”
Following the internships, the participants will have access to OBT’s corporate recruiters and The LAMP’s facilitators, who will connect graduates to employment, advanced education, or additional technology-related training opportunities.
“This program builds upon [the students’ technological] skills while providing them with stackable credentials to prepare for today’s job market,” said OBT Executive Director Randy Peers. “Through the Earn While You Learn model, participants will obtain a competitive advantage, exposing them to new ways to leverage the latest in technology while receiving the tangible benefit of earning money.”
Four additional Digital Career Path courses will be offered in 2013 to young adults ages 17 – 26, all at OBT’s Bushwick Workforce Resource Center (BWRC), located at 280 Wyckoff Avenue. For additional information, visit their website, http://www.obtjobs.org/index.php/150.