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Free job training program for women starts in October

Project Self-Sufficiency announces that the fall session of its employment skills training program, Higher Opportunities for Women (HOW), will launch Oct. 8, 2019.

The 16-week HOW Program combines intensive computer skills training with classroom instruction and off-site internships to prepare women who have been out of the work force or underemployed to seek entry-level office administrative positions. Computer training and classroom instruction will take place at the agency’s campus, located at 127 Mill Street in Newton. Interested participants are encouraged to attend an Open House to learn more about the program. Open Houses will be held on Sept. 17, 19 and 23.

Women who take part in the agency’s HOW program can expect 80 hours of computer skills training, including instruction in Microsoft Word, Excel and other applications. The HOW program also includes 40 hours of classroom instruction and 120 hours at an unpaid externship at a community employment site, which further prepares participants to successfully venture into the job market. Coursework focuses on workplace navigation, life skills training, resume preparation, and interviewing strategies. An abbreviated version of the program, Summer Office Skills (SOS), is offered during the summer months.

Over the years, Project Self Sufficiency has partnered with a variety of local businesses, non-profit organizations and government entities to provide HOW participants with externship opportunities. Participants gain real-life work experience while honing the computer skills they have received as part of the HOW training program. Since the HOW program’s inception, more than 1,000 women have gained self-confidence and learned marketable skills which placed them on the path to economic self-sufficiency.

Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency explains that the HOW program is more than just a job-skills program.

“The Higher Opportunities for Women program offers participants the opportunity to gain the skills and confidence to compete in today’s job market, and that in turn, helps put food on the table, pay the rent, and ultimately turn around the prospects for the entire family. Giving our participants the tools necessary to become economically self-sufficient makes families stable and helps the entire community.”