CAA is now hosting a weekly drop-in computer lab for workforce development clients and others to acquire new digital skills, apply for jobs online, and get support on basics like browsing the web. CAA staff are available to provide language interpretation, computer training, and are resources for technology questions.
For many immigrant community members, access to a computer and the internet isn’t necessarily a given and a lack of familiarity with technology can lead to a de facto denial of opportunities and resources. Broadly speaking, racially segregated neighborhoods usually face higher rates of uneven digital access. San Francisco Chinatown serves as a key example of how immigrant communities depend on public computer terminals due to multiple barriers to computer use, such as high cost and lack of familiarity. As more and more of our lives are experienced online, CAA’s computer lab offers a gateway to job applications, email access, resume crafting, typing skills, and online English language learning tools.
Our computer lab has served as a beacon to many Chinese immigrants who have used our services to gain computer literacy and successfully apply for and get hired for jobs across the city. For example, Mandy (name changed for privacy) came to CAA looking for help on how to shift careers to another industry. Once she enrolled as a workforce client, we realized that despite having a high level of English language proficiency she didn’t understand how to go online to navigate job sites. When Mandy expressed interest in transitioning to janitorial jobs, we encouraged her to attend our weekly computer lab sessions so we could walk her through the online job application process. In a few weeks, Mandy heard back from a couple of employers and after hands-on interview coaching, she took a job at a local office management startup. As online connectivity becomes more important, we hope to provide community members, like Mandy, pathways toward computer literacy to access online resources and gain economic independence.
CAA is proud to offer computer lab services and much more to better serve as a resource for our community. We proactively work and lead in local economic justice collaborations to expand the number of opportunities that our communities can access. If you or someone you know might benefit from our workforce services, feel free to drop in our offices to become a client or give us a call!