Lewiston Adult Education Computer Training Prepares Students For Future Careers

Computer Support Specialist student Santo Panzo took a moment during November mock interviews for a photo outside the Adult Learning Center at the Longley Multipurpose Center.
Computer Support Specialist student Santo Panzo took a moment during November mock interviews for a photo outside the Adult Learning Center at the Longley Multipurpose Center.

Lewiston Adult Education students have completed the first part of Computer Support Specialist training for technology sector jobs. The combination of in-person and distance learning lessons in the fall focused on digital literacy, English skills and work readiness. Successful completion of the program results in a level one Computer Specialist microbadge that can be accepted for college credit and is recognized by employers around the state.

“The students were very motivated and showed a great work ethic. All of them work full time yet were able to participate in and successfully complete this intense program,” English teacher Irina Petranek said.

Student Santo Panzo thanked computer teacher Greg Yates in an email.

“We are more than proud of the opportunity Lewiston Adult Education provided to us,” Panzo said.

On Nov. 20, Panzo and his classmates participated in mock interviews with staff and community members as another preparation for the workforce. Local partners in the interviews included Carbonite, Bates College and RoundTable Technology. Some of the interviews were remote while others were in person with social distancing and mask-wearing.

Computer Support Specialist student Ester Bassa sat for an outdoor photo during November mock interviews at the Adult Learning Center at the Longley Multipurpose Center.
Computer Support Specialist student Ester Bassa sat for an outdoor photo during November mock interviews at the Adult Learning Center at the Longley Multipurpose Center.

“Lewiston Adult Education is proud to have pioneered in this innovative work. The opportunity to invest in training that results in badges that are recognized for college credit and by local employers is of tremendous benefit to our adult learners,” Lewiston Adult Education Assistant Director Jen Tiner said. “We admire the initiative and persistence that our students demonstrated throughout this program.”

The students’ next step will be taking the National Retail Federation Customer Service and Sales program in collaboration with RSU 16 Adult Education. It will include English classes with a focus on technical writing and speaking skills.

“This class of students reminds us all of the importance of embracing the new ‘global language’ – Information Technology.  A diverse set of students in age, background and origin, they were eager to master the skills of today’s explosion in computer technology,” Yates said.

The Computer Support Specialist Program is funded by the Lumina Foundation and developed in partnership with the University of Maine System, the Maine Department of Labor and the Maine Department of Education.

This story was provided by Lewiston Adult Education Center as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea, email it to Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.