TIPS: Free computer classes available in Somerset, Hunterdon counties

By Barbara Peronefree computer training
Free help is available to upgrade your computer skills. Today, prospective employers expect most job candidates to have: multiple degrees; possess infinite knowledge about their company; and be proficient in even the most obscure software; just to name a few of the many, many requirements.
Surely they must be dreaming! Many unemployed professionals:

  • Have at least one degree, a certification, or some formal training
  • Know how to use a computer well enough to send email, write a blog
  • Have learned all the software du jour their former job required
  • Have some familiarity with social media websites, and
  • Are able to write text messages that are probably more grammatically correct than their teenage counterparts.

What they don’t have is a bank account large enough to pay for all the high-priced computer classes they’d have to take to compete for jobs with others in this fast-moving, technological world whose economy seems to be stuck in neutral.
Yet, despite all the challenges people face when looking for work, there is, at least, still free help available for those who want to learn basic skills computer skills.
Somerville Workforce Learning Link provides an on-going, six-week, instructor-led, beginner’s computer course at its facility, located at 27 Warren Street in Somerville. Students there learn how to:

  • Use a keyboard
  • Navigate popular email programs to create/send messages
  • Search the Internet for informationReceive basic instructions in Microsoft Word

The Learning Link, open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., also offers interactive computer instruction to intermediate students who want to increase their knowledge of MS Outlook, Word and Excel.
To register for courses, call the Learning Link at 908-541-5781.
Bridgewater Library offers free computer courses once each month to beginner and intermediate users. Classes are held in the library’s computer lab and last for an hour and a half.
Beginners focus on learning how to use a mouse, the Internet to conduct searches, and standard email programs to create/send messages. Intermediate students learn how to increase their knowledge of Word, Excel, and learn how to use the Internet to search for jobs.
The library, part of the Somerset County Library Systems, is located at 1 Vogt Drive in Bridgewater. To register for classes, stop by the Adult Reference Desk and register in person, or call the library at 908-526-4016, ask for extension 105, or register online by visiting the library’s website
Hunterdon County Library will be offering a free, hands-on workshop, next month, for beginners having difficulty learning how to use some of the built-in applications (or apps) on the iPad.
Just bring your iPad with you to the Meeting Room at the library on Monday, February 4, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., where the course iPad 101 will be held. For demonstration purposes the instructor will be using an iOS 6 device and will be teaching students tips and showing them tricks to better organizing their apps.
Advance registration is not required. For details about this and other programs available at the library call 908-788-1434 or visit their website

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