At Rensselaer


Training Tomorrow's Workforce

Donna Abbott Vlahos/Business Review

Graduate student Heidi Von Ludwig works with Luis Colon on developing a Web site.

A group of teens in Troy had the chance to learn computer skills and gain workplace experience this summer, with the help of Rensselaer students and faculty.
  Rensselaer partnered with The Ark, a haven for learning and personal development for the children of low-income families in Troy's Taylor Apartments, in a program called the "Computers and Communication Technology Summer Employment and Training Program."
  Teens spent 30 hours a week for six weeks receiving hands-on training in HTML and graphics for the World Wide Web, desktop publishing, video production, and computer office skills. They also took part in a service learning workshop focusing on job interviewing, oral presentation skills, and resume writing.
  "We want these kids to get more than just technical skills out of this," says Teresa Harrison, associate professor of language, literature, and communication at Rensselaer and one of the coordinators of the project. "It's about building social skills in conjunction with the technical that will make these students really marketable."
  Five Rensselaer students in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences helped plan curriculum and teach the classes.
  "A vast majority of occupations in the next century will incorporate computers and technology skills," says Derek Granger, employment and training coordinator at the Rensselaer County Department of Employment and Training. "It's important that we expose our county's youth to these skills so they can succeed in tomorrow's workplace."


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