News

SEVCA and VAL Offering Free Workshop Series on Computer and Workplace Skills

SEVCA (Southeastern Vermont Community Action) in collaboration with VAL (Vermont Adult Learning) is providing a series of six free basic Computer and Workplace Skills workshops. This workshop series will provide participants with training, support and resources to gain foundational knowledge using a computer and improve workplace skills. Classes start March 15th, 2022 with additional dates on: 3/22, 3/29, 4/5, 4/12, and 4/19. Enrollment is limited to 10.

SEVCA will provide a gift card incentive to Vermont residents who attend all six sessions. Springfield Area Working Communities Challenge (WCC) will provide a refurbished laptop to *eligible* participants attending all six sessions. The workshops will be held in person at Vermont Adult Learning, 100 River Street in Springfield and will be taught by SEVCA instructor Diane Heileman.

*For more information on laptop eligibility or to enroll in the workshop series, contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Computer Skills Workshops, Descriptions and Schedule:

1. The Laptop: Tuesday, March 15 from 10am – 11:30am

Basic knowledge of laptop care can extend the life of a laptop by years and supports efficient laptop performance. Students will learn about basic computer care plus become familiar with the physical components of the laptop, including ports and connections, keypad, specialty keys, TouchPad, battery, power charger, webcam, speakers, indicator lights and more.

2. The Desktop: Tuesday, March 22 from 10am – 11:30am

Students will learn the parts of the desktop and how to personalize it, how to find and open applications, use the TouchPad and optional mouse, understand the parts of a window, open and manage multiple windows, find, save and search for files, create folders and organize files. We’ll review maintaining Windows via system updates, managing disk space, troubleshooting techniques, and backups.   

3. The Internet - Connecting, Searching and Safety: Tuesday, March 29 from 10am – 11:30am

This class will address the steps involved to connect a laptop to a network and navigate through the internet. Students will search the internet for information and save and organize websites for easy access (e.g. “bookmarks” and “favorites”). We will also cover what to look for in a safe website, signs of a possible fraudulent site, and how to review web browser options. This class also addresses workplace policies for internet usage.

4. Email Skills using Gmail: Tuesday, April 5 from 10am – 11:30am

Students will learn the parts of an email and how to create, search, send and reply to an email. Topics include text formatting options (e.g. fonts, sizes, colors), attaching documents and photos, website links, email customization options, recognizing and dealing with unwanted email (spam), plus email usage in the workplace.

5. Introduction to Microsoft Word: Tuesday, April 12 from 10am – 11:30am

This class will focus on basic Microsoft Office Word skills. Students will create, edit, save and print Word documents, set up fonts and text formatting options (e.g. bold, underline, bullets, indents, margins etc.), insert graphic objects and photos from the desktop and internet, and use spelling and grammar tools.

6. Introduction to Spreadsheets Using Microsoft Excel: Tuesday, April 19 from 10am-12:00pm

Excel is a spreadsheet program that is easy to use and allows you to store, manipulate, analyze, and visualize data. In this beginner's Excel class, students will learn how to create and update a basic spreadsheet, enter and format data, calculate totals through formulas, and create simple reports and charts.

SEVCA Offering Free Money Management Workshop Series This April!

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is providing a series of four Financial Fitness workshops to provide training, support, and resources to help participants gain control and manage their money. Workshop topics include: creating a personal, workable budget; reducing debt; setting personal goals; modifying spending; basics of banking; plus credit.

Workshops are free to Vermont residents. SEVCA will provide a gift card cash incentive to those Vermont residents affected by COVID-19 who attend workshops 1, 2, and 3. Courses will be offered on Zoom, an online platform. Additional counseling is available to attendees. For more information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Zoom Workshop dates and times for April 2022:

Workshop 1: Wednesday, April 6: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 2: Wednesday, April 13: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 3: Wednesday, April 20: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 4: Wednesday, April 27: 6pm-7pm

---

Workshop 1: Take Control of Your Money – Create a Budget

Date: April 6: 6pm - 7pm

Understanding and tracking the details of your financial situation is the start to making better money decisions and building a more secure future. When life situations change, and they often do (job loss, illness, birth of a child, new job, divorce, etc.) it’s time to review how to manage your money. This workshop will help you take control of your money by taking the first step by...creating a budget. We’ll learn what a budget is, why to use one, and how to create and review one step by step.

Workshop 2: Manage Your Expenses - Set Your Goals

Date: April 13: 6pm - 7pm

After creating a budget, the next step is to review the expenses then identify goals. Goal examples are: paying off debts, saving for a car, or building an emergency fund. Creating a plan and taking control of income and expenses helps achieve goals. We’ll look at ways to lower expenses and increase income, discuss what to do with bills you can’t pay, and learn strategies to achieve goals.

Workshop 3: Credit – Tame the Credit Beast

Date: April 20: 6pm - 7pm

Let’s face it, using credit to make purchases makes life more convenient. But when credit (loans and credit cards) are overused, they become a trap and one of the biggest barriers in reaching financial goals. This workshop reviews credit: the do’s and don’ts of credit, how to avoid credit traps, and ways to get out of credit card debt. We will learn about “Your FICO Credit Score”, how it affects your lifetime of interest rates, how interest impacts monthly payments, and how to improve a credit score.

Workshop 4: Banks and Credit Unions – Protect and Grow Your Money

Date: April 27: 6pm - 7pm

Where money is kept, whether it’s in a bank, credit union or under the mattress, does affect finances. This workshop explains the differences between banks and credit unions, plus describes the accounts, benefits, and services (and fees) they offer. We will look at checking accounts, debit cards, savings accounts, loans and interest rates, plus learn strategies to grow and protect money. We’ll look at “Instant Cash” payday loans, how to protect your information and prevent identity theft.

VT Everyone Eats Extended & Celebrating Two Million Meals Served! 

SEVCA is delighted to announce that VT Everyone Eats (VEE) has received an extension to continue through April 1, 2022, and is celebrating serving two million meals!  

The innovative COVID-19 response program provides meal assistance to Vermonters, while supporting local restaurants, farmers, and food producers. This additional program extension, following three before it, is made possible thanks to a contract provided by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, with SEVCA serving as the program administrator. The program is currently operated by eleven community hubs throughout the state, including a statewide online mobile phone app.  

Since July 2020, over 260 Vermont restaurants have prepared these 2 million meals for Vermonters impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, using ingredients purchased from over 300 Vermont farmers and food producers. Those two million meals have generated $20 million in supplemental revenue for local restaurants, $2 million paid to local farmers and food producers, and thousands of new relationships formed between farmers, restaurant workers, grassroots and community leaders, volunteers, meal participants, and lawmakers. Thank you to all who have made this possible! 

Please celebrate this incredible milestone with us by participating in the #VTEveryoneEats Two Million Meals Social Media Celebration! More info available here: https://vteveryoneeats.org/2-million-meals 

SEVCA Offers Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits to Prevent Holiday Virus Spread

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) has a limited supply of rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits, available at no cost to Windham and Windsor County clients. Using an at-home test kit before and after holiday gatherings can be a quick, easy way to detect infection and help reduce the spread of the virus. Thanks to the VT Department of Health, SEVCA has test kits to distribute before and after Christmas as well as before and after New Year’s. Both Lucira Check It tests and Abbott BinaxNOW tests will be available at each of SEVCA’s various office, program, and store locations, including in: Bellows Falls, Brattleboro, Chester, Hartford, Springfield, Westminster, White River Junction, and Windsor. If you would like a test kit, please contact the SEVCA program and location through which you receive services. If you cannot get in touch with your preferred program or location, you may contact Kathleen Devlin, Special Projects Director: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Please remember that rapid at-home COVID-19 self-testing is one of many risk-reduction measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with vaccination, masking, and physical distancing. False negative and false positive results may occur. For additional information on at-home self-testing, please visit here.

New Ready for Work Workshop Series Available This February

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is providing a free Ready for Work workshop series. These three workshops provide training, support, and resources to help participants entering or returning to the workforce. Workshop topics include: creating a resume, customizing a cover letter to fit the job, searching for a job, and tips for a successful job interview.

Workshops are free and are open to all Vermont residents. Sign up for 1, 2, or all 3 workshops. SEVCA provides handouts, resources, and support before and after the workshops. SEVCA also provides a gift card incentive to Vermont residents from Windham and Windsor Counties who attend all 3 workshops.

Courses will be offered on Zoom, an online platform. Additional counseling is available to attendees. For more information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ready for Work Workshop Series – February 2022

• Workshop 1: Resume Writing Workshop 2/01/22 6pm - 7pm
• Workshop 2: Cover letter and Job Search 2/08/22 6pm - 7pm
• Workshop 3: Tips for a Successful Job Interview 2/15/22 6pm - 7pm

Workshop 1: Resume Writing Workshop 2/01/22 6pm-7pm

One of the most important steps in the job search process is writing a solid resume. Participants will learn how to create or update their resume by representing their interests, experiences, skills, and abilities using action keywords, and interpersonal skills words in a clear, readable and noticeable style. Resume support from the instructor provided before and after the workshop.

Workshop 2: Cover Letters & Job Search 2/08/22 6pm-7pm

Participants will learn how to create and customize a cover letter to introduce themselves and present their skills and interests based on a job posting. We’ll use several online sources to search for open positions, research potential employers, compare options and learn how to apply for a job online.

Workshop 3: Tips for a Successful Job Interview 2/15/22 6pm-7pm

Participants will learn how to prepare for and be successful in job interviews. We’ll review tips to prepare for the interview, avoiding common job interview mistakes, promote your skills and interests, learn more about the employer, plus how to follow up after the interview.

“Unless the investment in children is made, all of humanity’s most fundamental long-term problems will remain fundamental long-term problems.”

UNICEF "The State of the Children" (1995)