Expanding Basic Digital Literacy Classes for Vocational Rehabilitation
When the Digital Workshop Center was founded in 2006, it was designed to be a community center for career skills with a focus on technology. Many of our students were looking to expand their existing skills in tech related fields such as design, marketing, and web development. DWC has always been a go-to for those in the community looking to “up-skill.”
Over time, DWC has seen an increase in demand on the other end of the technology spectrum, with many vocational agencies and job seekers looking for basic digital literacy to jumpstart a career. These essential skills are often overlooked, but now, more than ever, there is a need for basic literacy classes across the U.S.
One of the government agencies DWC has been able to serve often has been Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). For over seven years, DWC has been a resource for VR students and counselors, educating students with disabilities to gain the skills they need to be successful in the workforce.
Along with the rise in demand for basic digital literacy classes at DWC, we created the Blueprint Program approximately three years ago to teach students essential tech skills. This custom program has been successful in helping individuals learn the right ways to use technology including productivity tools such as Google Apps and Microsoft Office.
Our instructors teach the Blueprint Program in a one-on-one classroom format, while recognizing the challenges of working with an individual’s disability and/or learning pace. The Blueprint Program is delivered online, and DWC’s admin staff is here to help students every step of the way. The success has been overwhelming and we are excited to now be offering our classes to more regions across the US than ever before.
Expanding Basic Digital Literacy Classes
At the beginning of this year, we decided to start reaching out to more Vocational Rehabilitation offices across the U.S. to inform counselors and staff about our basic digital literacy training and how we can help to improve tech skills for all. In 2020, DWC has become an occupational school in Utah, and we are working with students through Vocational Rehabilitation and/or Workforce Centers from New Mexico, Minnesota, Wyoming, Nebraska and more.
Our goal is still simple: we strive to provide job-seeking students with “skills, not degrees”.
We know that basic digital literacy classes are essential to building the right skills for today’s modern workforce. And, with the effect of the pandemic going on, we also have seen a huge rise in the need for understanding of video chat and collaboration tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.
From our latest student exit poll survey data, Digital Workshop Center helped 82% of our unemployed or dislocated students get back to full-time work. Some of those students were able to attend DWC classes through services provided by Vocational Rehabilitation offices.
The growth of the Blueprint Program means that more students will have access to basic digital literacy training than ever before. We want the Blueprint Program to provide a first step for those that need it, and our certification programs to continue expanding a student’s skills as they work towards becoming job ready.
If you want to learn more about how you can gain funding for a vocational program through your VR office download and read our step-by-step guide, here. If you reside outside of Colorado, but are interested in applying Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) or VR funding towards our certificate programs, contact us! We would love the opportunity to help you gain the skills you need to be successful.