Or­bital ATK donates com­put­ers for job­seek­ers

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By BRI­ANNA SHEA



— Count­less job­seek­ers will have an eas­ier path to em­ploy­ment af­ter Or­bital ATK and other com­pa­nies do­nated com­put­ers to the Mary Ran­dall Cen­ter ear­lier this month.

The com­pany do­nated nu­mer­ous desk­top com­put­ers, a pro­jec­tor, white­board and com­puter ta­bles for the pur­pose help­ing peo­ple search for jobs, com­plete hous­ing ap­pli­ca­tions and ap­ply for ben­e­fits, said Pat Marks, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the cen­ter’s par­ent or­ga­ni­za­tion, Meet­ing Ground. The Mary Ran­dall Cen­ter is a day­time area for the home­less of those in dan­ger of be­ing home­less that pro­vides re­sources such as med­i­cal ser­vices and job as­sis­tance.Three of the com­put­ers were do­nated by Dell, while DTI Inc., a com­pany in Ne­wark, Del., do­nated its time to help set up the con­fer­ence room, which houses the pro­jec­tor and white­board, said Kurt Olsen, se­nior di­rec­tor of in­for­ma­tion sys­tems with Or­bital ATK.

Marks said Alan Sex­ton, busi­ness ser­vices di­rec­tor at Susque­hanna Work­force Net­work, sug­gested that Meet­ing Ground reach out to the tech­nol­ogy com­pany for help, and of­fered to be a fa­cil­i­ta­tor in the process.

“It warmed my heart,” Marks said about a group from the IT de­part­ment who of­fered their time to set up the new equip­ment.

Even though the com­put­ers are meant pri­mar­ily to help with find­ing jobs, users will also be al­lowed to use them for their so­cial me­dia needs. Shenise Daugh­try, pro­gram di­rec­tor for the cen­ter, said there is no time limit for peo­ple to search and ap­ply for jobs, ben­e­fits or hous­ing, but of­fi­cials will hold a time limit on surf­ing so­cial me­dia, such as Face­book.

The com­put­ers will make it eas­ier for job­seek­ers to com­mu­ni­cate with po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers di­rectly and stay in touch with the hir­ing process, learn­ing tips and ad­vice along the way.

Daugh­try said a group from Lazarus Ris­ing, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­vides Delaware’s home­less pop­u­la­tion with job prepa­ra­tion skills, has al­ready uti­lized the new equip­ment to help peo­ple cre­ate re­sumes and an email ac­count. Pre­vi­ously, the group had been help­ing peo­ple with their job searches on a sin­gle lap­top, but with the ex­tra com­put­ers it al­lowed more one-on-one in­struc­tion, Marks said.

Cindy Black­burn was one of those ben­e­fit­ting from the do­na­tion, not­ing that she could ap­ply to more jobs in a shorter time­frame than if she were to visit busi­ness in per­son. She said she has ap­plied to about a dozen jobs so far within the past two weeks with the help of the com­put­ers.

Richard Tim­pone said he’s used the com­put­ers once or twice a week to check his email and ap­ply for jobs.

“I was so happy that ATK do­nated th­ese com­put­ers,” he said.

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