Working Philadelphians are going back to school to learn computer and technology basics.
A newly-formed coalition called Greater Philadelphia Computer Skills Collaborative (GPCSC) wants to increase productivity and make employees more competitive in the increasingly technological workplace. To that end, led by the Mayor's Commission on Technology, IBM, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and others, GPCSC has implemented International Computer Driving License (ICDL), a global computer skills certification program.
The program, which is used globally to teach basic computer skills, has been available in 10 test centers throughout the Philadelphia area since May, and more than 30 local organizations, spanning all sectors, have taken advantage of the opportunity since the implementation. The seven-module program certifies proficiency in computer basics such as word processing, spreadsheets, Internet and e-mail use, file management and databases—prerequisites for many jobs. ICDL has seen extensive use in Europe and across the globe with more than 300 million participants in 100 countries.
For Philadelphia, there are three main goals, says Grant Castle, president of ICDL's U.S. licensee based in Southport, Conn., to expand participation within the organizations already using ICDL, to bring new organizations in with increased publicity, and to open up more test centers to make ICDL available to the general public. —H.J.