Eagle Chamber’s computer literacy program begins | VailDaily.com

Eagle Chamber’s computer literacy program begins

A partnership between the Eagle Chamber of Commerce’s Eagle Economic Vitality Foundation and Eagle County Public Health is delivering a local computer literacy training program to Hispanic adults.

In addition to learning how to operate a laptop, students learn how to navigate the Windows and Microsoft laptop environment, Google Workspace, cyber security, email and more. Students will also learn how to create a resume and search and apply for employment online. This workforce initiative is one of the Eagle Chamber’s ongoing strategies to connect workers with employers while elevating members of the community with stimulating opportunities designed to improve their lives.

Eagle Economic Vitality Foundation was founded in 2019 by the Eagle Chamber of Commerce. EEVF supports the economic vitality of the Eagle community through education and training programs designed to assist local businesses with the skills and tools to employ and retain quality employees. EEVF was awarded a Colorado state OEDIT grant for the computer literacy program in order to train local Hispanic adults to apply for employment online.

Eagle County Public Health also received a federal Advanced Literacy grant and delivered a program very similar to EEVF’s goals in 2022. Utilizing tools and resources from ECPH’s program, EEVF gained the guidance, knowledge and experience of ECPH’s successful computer literacy program.

“When it became apparent after COVID that we had such a hiring gap in this valley, the Chamber sought ideas to try to help local businesses,” said Dan Miller Brown, president of Eagle Chamber of Commerce and EEVF.

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Miller Brown’s unique vision for the program drove the grant application and moved the program forward. “One issue that became clear was that many in our workforce didn’t have the means or the training to seek posted jobs because they were only available through online applications,” he said. “With a goal of closing this gap and creating inclusion, we pursued a grant targeted toward training in the Hispanic community so that job seekers and employers could connect. This training is the outcome of that effort, and we are thrilled to have facilitated such a success.”

Faviola Alderete, a community health specialist at Eagle County Public Health, brings an abundance of experience in serving the local Hispanic community to the program. Faviola and her associates helped provide a well-qualified instructor and coordinators to care for the students and their children during the training sessions.

“As the years pass and technology evolves, we keep seeing that computer literacy is no longer a luxury. It is a need,” Alderete said.

“The lack of computer literacy prevents individuals from performing simple functions such as replying and composing emails and using different online applications,” she said. “Without these basic skills, individuals are unmarketable to potential job opportunities or to even know how to apply for public assistance programs. For example, during the COVID pandemic, one of the most significant barriers that kept people from using public assistance programs like rent and food assistance was the lack of computer literacy. This program has been created to teach basic computer literacy skills to get community members up to speed with the digital era that we live in and to improve communication channels with teachers, medical providers, and other resources.”

EEVF’s Computer Literacy Training Program’s Leadership Committee has been working together as a team to deliver this program to the community. Volunteer Committee Members provide valuable decision-making feedback and resources, such as providing personal coaching guidance during the program training sessions. Committee members include Denise Cardoza and Jackie VanEyll of the town of Eagle, Andy Davis of Comcast, Maisa Metcalf of Holy Cross Energy, Asu Alonso of Eagle Valley Commercial, Mauricio Ortega Zuniga and Evelyn Corral of First Bank, Carolyn Tucker of Northwest Small Business Development Center and Edgar Chairez of Hood Insurance Agency. Rene Ibarra is the program’s instructor.

The Eagle Chamber is seeking future opportunities to continue this program as well as partners to provide financial support in order to sustain this program for the long term. To learn more about this program and to contribute to the effort, please contact Michelle Morgan at (970) 306-2262 or michelle.morgan@eaglechamber.co

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