Project Self-Sufficiency volunteer Nancy Harrington, HOW graduates Ashley Simeone and Melissa Cole, and Cora Chandler, Project Self-Sufficiency. (Photo provided)
Newton - The women in the most recent graduating class from Project Self-Sufficiency’s Higher Opportunities for Women (HOW) employment skills training program have gained marketable office skills, confidence, a sense of professionalism and the support of a peer group as they continue on the road to self-sufficiency. The 16-week HOW program combines intensive computer skills training with classroom instruction and off-site externships 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 takes place at the agency’s campus which is located at 127 Mill St. in Newton. “Project Self-Sufficiency’s Higher Opportunities for Women program is a pre-employment training program designed to help women who have been out of the workforce for a long period of time or those who may be entering the workforce for the first time,” explains Cora Chandler, Coordinator of the agency’s Higher Opportunities for Women (HOW) program. “In addition to computer training, the curriculum gives women the professionalism and confidence to contribute to the workforce in a significant way. We are happy to celebrate with our graduates.” The free HOW program is offered in the spring and fall, with an abbreviated version, Summer Office Skills, taking place during July and August. The program involves extensive computer training and assistance with resume development and interview skills along with classes in life skills and workplace etiquette. Eligibility is based on a variety of factors, such as experience, education, income-level, family situation and other issues. The program culminates with an externship at a local workplace. Participants graduate with the skills they need to venture into the job market as an administrative assistant. Current program graduates include Melissa Cole, who is looking forward to completing her externship at Bristol Glen, and Ashley Simeone who is pursuing her nursing degree at Sussex County Community College. The next session of the HOW program launches in mid-February. To enroll, or to find out more information about the program, call Project Self-Sufficiency at 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500, or visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org.