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In the ever-changing world, updating and learning new skills are processes we all need to do to stay relevant. And it often takes courage to recognize the need to transform our skills to find our next best job in the workforce or to stay on top of everyday life.

Ida is one such individual who realized it was necessary to upgrade her digital skills in order to explore her next career.

For the past 10 years plus, Ida served as a Customer Service Representative for an insurance company processing claims, triaging calls, assisting with sales and training, and training new hires. Earlier in her career she also worked as a tax specialist and Desk Top Support Specialist working remotely on home networking and security software programs like McAfee and Norton.

When the pandemic hit, Ida decided to retire from her Customer Service job and explore a new career. 

She looked into Goodwill’s Workforce Development offerings and began investigating Comp TIA A+ Certification – the Information Technology standard for IT help desk employees. During the intake process, she discovered a refresher course on basic digital skills in Microsoft products, Network Technology, and web page development was needed in order to be prepared for the class. Ida opted to take Goodwill’s self-directed Digital Literacy classes. 

“Ida joined the Digital Literacy classes in order to enhance her customer service skills and become more marketable,” said Workforce Development Career Consultant Elijah Smith. “Her grit and determination in taking these self-paced classes shows fortitude and her desire to stay abreast of 21st Century technology.” 

“When Ida came to Goodwill, she began our self-paced core office skills program,” said Workforce Development Upskilling Center Facilitator Patty Pumpelly. “She was really interested in learning Microsoft Excel and Access.”  

Over the course of several months, Ida began training on basic computer skills, the internet, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel, Windows 10, Mac Operating systems, Google Docs and social media. After mastering these skills, she passed the NorthStar Digital Literacy Assessment and earned her certification in all the modules. 

Not one to be deterred on her path, Ida decided to become more proficient and knowledgeable in her digital literacy skills. “I love Microsoft Excel and am currently working on my Microsoft Office Specialist Certification,” said Ida. This includes intensive training for six weeks in Microsoft Word and six weeks training in Microsoft Excel. 

“Ida is very determined. She knows what she wants and goes after it,” said Patty. 

“My ultimate goal now is to teach people Microsoft Applications and Digital Literacy at no charge, whether that be through a local church, library or community center.” 

In the meantime, Ida is perfectly happy applying her new digital skills, as well as her skills in accounting, customer service and computer networking at Nationwide. 

“Goodwill has been a really good experience for me,” said Ida. “Goodwill has provided me with the applications and programs to be able to upskill at my own pace and at my convenience.”  

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