Job-seeking Collier County adults are back in class to catch up to computer skills

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent 
 The Collier County adult education program, Job Skills for Today's Job Market, is a refresher course in computers. The next session of adult ed classes begins this week.

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent The Collier County adult education program, Job Skills for Today's Job Market, is a refresher course in computers. The next session of adult ed classes begins this week.

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent 
 Teacher Hank Ventry, left, and District Coordinator Taylor Baker of the Collier County adult education program, talk to students on the first night of class. The next session of adult ed classes begins the week of April 9.

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent Teacher Hank Ventry, left, and District Coordinator Taylor Baker of the Collier County adult education program, talk to students on the first night of class. The next session of adult ed classes begins the week of April 9.

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent 
 Teacher Hank Ventry, of the Collier County adult education program, talks to students on the first night of class, Job Skills for Today's Job Market. The class is a refresher course in computers. The next session of adult ed classes begins this week.

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent Teacher Hank Ventry, of the Collier County adult education program, talks to students on the first night of class, Job Skills for Today's Job Market. The class is a refresher course in computers. The next session of adult ed classes begins this week.

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent 
 A student taking the Job Skills Computer Level 1 reads the class schedule for the next session.

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent A student taking the Job Skills Computer Level 1 reads the class schedule for the next session.

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent 
 The Collier County adult education program, Job Skills for Today's Job Market, is a refresher course in computers. The next session of adult ed classes begins this week.

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent The Collier County adult education program, Job Skills for Today's Job Market, is a refresher course in computers. The next session of adult ed classes begins this week.

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent 
 Yurline Franklin sits in front of a computer monitor while listening to instructor Hank Ventry during the six week class for adult education at Barron Collier High School.

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent Yurline Franklin sits in front of a computer monitor while listening to instructor Hank Ventry during the six week class for adult education at Barron Collier High School.

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent 
 Teacher Hank Ventry, of the Collier County adult education program, talks to students on the first night of class, Job Skills for Today's Job Market. The class is a refresher course in computers. The next session of adult ed classes begins this week.

Nori St. Paul/Daily News Correspondent Teacher Hank Ventry, of the Collier County adult education program, talks to students on the first night of class, Job Skills for Today's Job Market. The class is a refresher course in computers. The next session of adult ed classes begins this week.

If you go:

Spring session begins the week of April 9. You can register for classes online at www.collieradulted.com, or you can also register on first day of class.

Level 1: Computer Skills for Today's Job Market

When: April 11-May 16, from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Level 2: Computer Skills for Today's Job Market

When: April 10-May 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Cost: $79, for either class

Location: Barron Collier High School

Information: 239-377-1234

Bridging the gap between human and computer just got easier.

For Sandy Morgan, walking down the bright wide echoing hallways of Barron Collier High School a few times could change the course of her life. That's what Morgan, a 40-something-year-old nursing administrator for the past nine years, said about the six-week adult education computer class she has enrolled in.

The Fort Myers resident is among a growing number of both employed and unemployed adults seeking to better their lives and improve their current and future job marketability by going back to school for refresher courses on fundamental computer skills most of today's teenagers take for granted.

With the economy still dubious, elections looming and Collier County unemployment at 9.9 percent, "Computer Skills for Today's Job Market, Level 1" seems a wise $79 investment for anyone hoping to scale the ladder of success.

Yurline Franklin, 35, is originally from Mexico City and currently works in Naples as a retail merchandise coordinator. She likes her job, and has been at it for 12 years. But every once in a while she looks at the classifieds, just in case.

"I realized as I was looking (for alternative employment) that most of the job market requires these computer skills. I took some computer classes in college, but I have forgotten a lot of it. I know if I ever look for a new job, I will have a much better chance if I know Microsoft Office — you know, how to organize files, make Excel charts or spreadsheets."

Teaching the once-a-week, two-hour class that meets six times is Hank Ventry, who gears this class specifically toward the work environment.

"Unemployment can be devastating. This class helps adults improve their skills and confidence so they can either get a job or get a better job," he said.

Ventry has been teaching mathematics and computer science since 1967, and has been in the adult education facet since 1970. He said he tries to instill the skills in such a way students remember the applications.

His style is a hands-on concert of keyboard fingers, mice and frequent exclamations of "Oohhh" and "Ahhh" when students make the connection of concept and execution — with an occasional piece of candy tossed to a student for answering a question correctly. The pace is comfortable and, according to the students, Ventry's teaching is exceptional.

"He breaks it down so it's easy to remember," said Franklin. "You don't even feel like you're learning, and you can tell he (Ventry) has a passion for his teaching."

Mary Beth Ross, who at 54 is employed part-time, agreed.

"I love the way Mr. Ventry makes it so simple. I tried to get my kids to teach me this stuff, and that didn't go over well. It didn't work. Now I don't have to listen to my children say 'Here, Mom, move over, I'll do it for you.' I feel a lot smarter, and better about myself."

The first time this class was offered was during the first winter session this year, and the class was "directly created as a result of the economic downturn," explained Taylor Baker, District Coordinator of Adult and Community Education.

Overall, he said, the first 2012 session was the biggest in Collier County adult education history, showing a trend in the increase of adults turning back to the days of learning: some doing it for fun, some doing it for life.

"It's a great melting pot, a pretty good reflection of the community. This particular job skills class has gone over so well we are offering it again, along with all of our other classes, like photography, art, foreign language, English, and financial planning, and we have created a follow-up computer class, Computer Skills for the Job Market, Level 2."

The class focuses on Microsoft Office programs — Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint, as well as some Windows file management systems.

The next session starts the week of April 9. For more information call 377-1234 or visit www.collieradulted.com.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features