YWCA GLA Works to Elevate the Community through Job Training and Placement in Digital Careers
Fighting for dependable jobs and higher wages has been part of the focus of the YWCA’s efforts both nationally and locally for decades. With the establishment of the Digital Learning Academy (DLA) in 2015, individuals now have access to quality digital careers like never before in this community.
“Our objective at the Digital Learning Academy is to provide young people with basic technical skills in four career fields: graphic communications, digital printing, 3D printing and coding. We select students with the desire and motivation to pursue careers in these fields but without the financial status to do so,” states Douglas Magill, DLA Lead Instructor. “By providing a stepping stone for these students, we are also providing a means for employers to have access to diverse talent that they might not otherwise have. Our students have access to and are trained in our full service digital printing center. This print center is a top-of-the-line facility with Xerox machines capable of producing high quality color printing, quickly at an affordable price.”
In addition to superior training, the Digital Learning Academy operates as a social enterprise through its Print Center which provides printing on high-end equipment, guided by experienced Xerox employees with competitive pricing for clients. “As a bonus, a portion of every dollar spent in our print shop goes directly back into the school, allowing the program to continue,” notes DLA Instructor Vicki Markell. “This program provides a lot of information in relatively short but concentrated sessions, which give participants a leg up into new career possibilities. DLA gives people hope. In the end, the entire community benefits because of the program.
I am passionate about my job because I know how important guidance is in planning one’s future and establishing skills and habits with which to achieve those goals.”
Gary Avrech, owner and operator of Go Graphics & Printing Company since 1982, partners with DLA to provide educational workshops. “The YWCA’s Digital Learning Academy has an excellent, well-rounded program which employs the skills and experience of professionals with decades of experience in the graphic design, web design and printing industries, to teach adults the skills they need to succeed in the real world. I found the DLA’s classrooms and digital print shop to have top-quality, state-of-the-art computers and printing equipment, which is just what students need to master the use of, in order to maintain industry standards of excellence.”
DLA student Trindin Darby comments of his experience, “The YWCA Digital Learning Academy has greatly prepared me for success in my future career. Coming into this, I did not have any digital skills at all, but with the help of this program and in a short amount of time, I was able to get all of the general knowledge that I needed to be able to practice, learn, and thrive in this industry. Being here at the Digital Learning Academy, I have learned how to diversify my skills, learning the four different aspects of the digital world that I can pursue. This will give me access to a lasting, fulfilling career.”