Despite many job openings, a number of positions require basic computer skills.
Volunteer Tim Haynes says MakeIt Haverhill is available to help. Haynes says MakeIt Haverhill is partnering with the Essex County Community Foundation, which conducted research last year, shed the light on the “digital divide.”
“What they found was that one out of every five households lacked having a basic computer, and a similar number lacked having internet access—and in Haverhill it’s even closer to one out of every four,” he notes.
Haynes, a recent guest on WHAV’s morning program, explains the Essex County Community Foundation introduced MakeIt Haverhill to a Boston-based nonprofit, Tech Goes Home, that is providing the tools needed to start the classes.
“You get a free Chromebook, which is essentially a laptop computer, and one year of free internet if you take a 15-hour class. We structured it as 10 classes across a five-week period, and we have bilingual instructors. It’s really great to see a mix of Spanish speaking and English speaking, of all ages, and it was really a great kickoff to our five-week class,” he says.
Haynes says many people have smartphones, but still lack basic computer skills. Many in the course that recently got underway are 50-plus years of age
One of the goals of MakeIt Haverhill, Haynes says, is to match opportunities with the needs of people “where they are,” and in addition to having English as a Second Language, classes the organization also offer classes for English speaking people to learn Spanish as a second language.
MakeIT Haverhill, 301 Washington St., Haverhill, may be found online at makeithaverhill.com.
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