NORWALK, Conn. – Free classes for people who need to build their job seeking skills are being offered by Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON), according to a press release.
If you’re an unemployed and underemployed area resident you’re in luck – computer classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels include Introduction to Computers and Keyboarding, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, the release said. You can take them either at the agency’s NorwalkWorks program in the Ben Franklin Center, located at 165 Flax Hill Road, or at NEON-Stamford office, 34 Woodland Ave. Computer classes begin monthly all year in both locations.
NEON is also offering a five-day WorkStart program to help people gain interview skills, develop a professional resume and learn up-to-date job-seeking skills, the release said. The WorkStart program is offered once a month in both the Norwalk and Stamford locations.
If you’d like to boost your English and other basic academic skills, or set off on a path toward earning a general equivalency diploma (GED), you can enroll in daily adult education classes at NEON’s Ben Franklin Center, according to the release.
Also offered are industry-specific occupational skills training, the release said. Retail/customer service trainees are given the opportunity to earn a national credential and receive job placement assistance. A new Construction Trades Jobs Funnel pre-apprenticeship program is under development and scheduled to launch in spring 2014.
“We are working with limited funding to provide high quality, fundamental workforce supports to the community as a key part of our community action mission,” NEON’s newly appointed interim CEO and President Chiquita Stephenson said in a statement. “No matter the challenges, we are committed to providing services. Individuals in our community need opportunities to upgrade their skills so they can have a chance to access jobs in the increasingly competitive local job market.”
More than 670 people in the region have been served since January, the release said.
Rina G. Bakalar, NEON’s chief workforce and community development officer, recounted a recent encounter with a student. “One woman came in last week and was almost in tears that she had found an Excel training class for free at NEON,” she said in the release. “She expressed frustration at missing out on being hired for several jobs due to the need to sharpen her computer skills, but could not afford to take classes. We want to make sure others know we are here to help.”
To find out more about NEON’s free Workforce programs call (203) 663-7441 or (203) 663-7424 in Norwalk, or (203) 352-4824 in Stamford. A program and class calendar is also available on NEON’s website.