I attended the South County Outreach Computer Learning Lab, having found out about this valuable resource through the Irvine One Stop center. I had been unemployed for quite some time after taking a buyout from a company where I had worked for approximately 20 years.

When the recession hit, it hit me hard. In my prior employment I always had a secretarial assistant who devised Excel charts, edited long drafts, formatted documents, prepared labels, and did all the myriad tasks an office assistant performs. There I was. The way of the world had changed around me, even high-level executives were now creating their own Excel documents and were proficient in Word.

Help for me came in the form of the Learning Lab. Not only was the content of the workbooks so outstanding, combining readable understandable information, included were remedial sections, clear diagrams and most of all practical examples of the computer program we were learning.

Beyond the remarkably put-together manuals, the teachers – all of whom are volunteers – were incredibly giving of their time, knowledge, patience, and understanding, not just regarding the subject matter, but they additionally acted with sincerity toward the students, most of whom were out of work, job hunting perhaps feeling vulnerable and sensitive.

And lastly, the fellow classmates; so supportive, kind, whether they were below or above the level where I was in the learning curve, they were willing to help, say a supportive word and just be there for me and the others.

Then, when I prepared my resume after having completed the series of computer lessons at the Learning Lab, I could seriously and truthfully add to my skills, all the programs I had learned.

Without question, I would not have the job I loce today if I had not added those skills to my experience. Honestly, I owe a lot to the South County Outreach Learning Lab.

Thank you.


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