Charleston West Virginia Economic Development

Discussions on Economic and Community Development in West Virginia and the Charleston MSA as well as issues of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TechKnowledge to Offer Instruction in Microsoft Programs

The Charleston Area Alliance and West Virginia State Community and Technical College System of West Virginia are teaming up to offer TechKnowledge, a set of four classes designed to teach employees how to get the most out of Microsoft programs.

An advanced class focusing on Microsoft Word will begin the series and is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 24. Intermediate classes covering Excel, Access and Powerpoint are scheduled for May 8, May 22 and June 5, respectively. All classes take place at the West Virginia State University Development Center, 1506 Kanawha Blvd. West.

The facility is about two blocks from the Patrick Street Bridge and right beside the David Saul used car lot. Parking is available.

Kim Sovine, program manager with West Virginia State, is the instructor.

TechKnowledge is part of "Skills for the 21st Century," a series of courses designed to help employees be more productive and more valuable. A course called WorkAbility began the "Skills" program last year, and the first round of TechKnowledge classes followed.

"Our goal is for area residents to gain the skills that will help them succeed in today's competitive environment," said Matt Ballard, president and CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance. "These classes will give them a stronger grasp on the kinds of software that businesses depend on. We want citizens to have the skills to help their employers succeed."

Each "Skills" course includes four classes over a two-month period. Future course and class themes will include basic personal finance, meeting facilitation, networking and foreign languages.

"We want to offer portable skills they can take with them their entire careers," said Andrew Dunlap, the Alliance’s economic development project manager. "A challenging economy requires a more versatile workforce. TechKnowledge is an excellent opportunity for both employers and employees."

The course fee is $65 for current Alliance members and $80 for future members. The per-class fee is $20 for members and $30 for future members.

To register for just the April 24 Word course, contact Deb Coffman at (304) 340-4253. For other individual classes, visit


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