Janesville60.9°

Computer classes providing help for job seekers

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Catherine W. Idzerda
March 16, 2009
— Imagine living in a world with no computers.

No hardware, no software, no sign-ons and no mice.


Unfortunately, many of today's job seekers are living in that world.


They might know how to send e-mail or check on a fantasy football team, but they have no idea how to create a new document in Microsoft Word. Even worse, they might not realize finding a job depends on being able to navigate the Internet.


Now for the good news: Hedberg Public Library, the Rock County Job Center, Blackhawk Technical College and UW-Rock County offer a variety of opportunities to learn the basics for free—or at a very low cost.


"We do a lot of surveys of the students in our classes," Triller said. "We're always trying new ones—and running those that haven't been run in a while."


One of his more popular classes is "Computers for Absolute Beginners."


"That's for people who think a mouse is something you set traps for," Triller said.


Along with the basics, people want to master new programs.


"I think people may be trying to extend their competitive edge in the workplace," Triller said.


Of course, Blackhawk offers semester-long college-credit courses, but not everyone has the time—or the need—for such extensive background.


The Arrowhead Library system also has stepped up to the plate, offering free, 90-minute courses in everything from computer basics to word processing basics.


Sheryl Oberle, computer systems trainer for the Arrowhead Library System, said about one-third of the people with whom she works "have never touched a computer."


Because of the economic downturn, the library has refocused its resources.


"We've kind of shifted what we're doing," Oberle said. "We're trying to focus on the basics—word processing basics, computer basics."


In a recent weekday morning class, four of the five people had been laid off, and the fifth expected to be laid off soon.


People who have never considered creating a resume now find that they have to have one. To create a resume, you have to know a word-processing program.


Along with classes, the library also can set up online tutorials to teach many programs and even keyboarding.


Computer classes


Library system classes

The library offers free classes on a variety of computer topics. Most of the hands-on classes are 90 minutes long. A library card is required to participate.


Call in advance to register, (608) 758-6600. Classes are cancelled if not enough people sign up.


This schedule is for the remainder of March. For more information about April classes, go to als.lib.wi.us and click on the "public computer class schedule" link at the top of the page.

-- Hedberg Public Library, 316 S. Main St., (608) 758-6600.


E-Mail Basics, 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 17.


Introduction to Computers, 10 a.m. Monday, March 23.


Word Processing Basics: Learn to edit a document with cutting, copying, pasting, inserting, deleting, bolding, italicizing, and underlining, 1 p.m. Monday, March 23.


Internet Basics with Online Forms, 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 25.


-- Online computer tutorials at Hedberg Public Library: Mouse skills, keyboarding or learning to type, typing drills and tutorials, Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.


-- Milton Public Library, 408 High St., Milton, (608) 868-7462.


Job Searching, 9:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 17.


-- Edgerton Public Library, 101 Albion St., (608) 884-4511.


Internet Basics, 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, March 18.


Word Processing II, 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, March 18.


Blackhawk Technical College

Blackhawk offers a variety of continuing education courses including computer for the absolute beginner to intermediate Excel classes and Photoshop.


Classes usually meet once a week for up to six weeks and are held at Blackhawk's central campus between Beloit and Janesville, at the Center for Transportation Studies north of Janesville or on the Monroe Campus.


Cost ranges from $14 to $49 depending on the length of the class. Seniors receive a discount.


For more information, go to www.blackhawk.edu and click on the continuing education link or call Blackhawk at (608) 758-6900 and ask to speak to someone in continuing education.

This is a partial listing of computer course offerings. Other classes include Internet basics, QuickBooks, Photoshop, Windows basics.


Computer for Absolute Beginner, 6-8:25 p.m. Wednesdays, April 15 to May 20. Cost: $42.82 for adults and $4 for seniors.


Excel 2007–beginner, 6-8:25 p.m. Wednesdays, March 25 to April 29. Cost: $42.82 for adults and $4 for seniors.


Excel 2007–Intermediate, 6-8:25 p.m. Tuesdays, April 7 to May 12. Cost: $49 for adults and $10.18 for seniors.


File Management, 10:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. Tuesdays, April 14 and 21. Cost: $13.71 for adults and $4 for seniors.


Payroll with QuickBooks, 6-8:50 p.m. Mondays, May 11 and 18. Cost: $18.56 for adults and $4 seniors.


UW-Rock County

UW Rock County has been offering dozens of online, noncredit courses through its affiliation with Education To Go.


For people interested in improving their computer skills, Education to Go offers several levels of learning.


Computer literacy: Covers typing/keyboarding, Internet basics and introduction to Windows.


Computer applications: Covers applications such as Crystal Reports, Adobe InDesign and Excel.


For more experienced users, Education to Go offers a series of courses in Web page design, Web graphics, database management and Web and computer programming.


For more information, go to www.rock.uwc.edu and click on the continuing education link.

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