“Can you just imagine what your life would be like without technology?” On October 8, 2010, Las Vegas-Clark County Urban League (LVUL) Nevada Public Computer Centers (NPCC) program manager, Jeff Drothler, posed this question to participants at the Doolittle Community Center grand opening celebration. Visitors to the grand opening heard the story of Julia Mann, a Las Vegas woman who had been unemployed for two years and living in a shelter with her son. Now, after completing an NPCC computer course and working with one of the Center’s job advisors, she is employed. This is just one of the many success stories of residents in public housing developments, low-income, and high unemployment communities who have benefitted from the training, job search assistance, and computer classes provided at LVUL’s 30 public computer centers.
The 15 percent unemployment rate in Las Vegas is difficult on the community, especially those residents who lack computer skills. To improve digital literacy and help people find employment, NPCC offers computer classes and trains visitors to conduct online job searches and prepare resumes. LVUL sponsored a career fair where 100 attendees, primarily Spanish speaking, received guidance on interview preparation and spoke with potential employers. With the help of BTOP funds, NPCC hired 24 full-time and six part-time personnel as instructors and supervisors, and for IT support.
Currently, the 15 new and 14 refurbished computer centers serve 2,500 to 3,000 users per week. NPCC instructors and project partners provide Microsoft Office® training, basic Internet skills classes, and one-on-one help. Students working on class projects as well as senior citizens learning how to use technology to stay in contact with family come to the center for tailored assistance.
Last Updated: October 19, 2011