WIN Center Matching People And Jobs

The students taking a computer class at the Gulfport WIN center come from all walks of life. They have different skill levels, and different needs.

"Basically, I'm self taught in computers and the problem with that is when you hit a glitch you don't know what to do. Here, I'm getting the guidance where I can go on to the next step," student Ruth Mizes said.

"I need computers to make me marketable, transitioning from one state to another," Patsey Ward said.

Some of the students have a job and need to brush up on their computer skills. Some don't know anything about computers.

"I've always been deathly afraid of computers and now, since I've been with the WIN program, the teachers treat you to where you're not scared of them anymore," Anna Turner said.

"I'm a senior aid working as a job developer, so I'm really in training. It's not really a job for me, it's a chance for me to get acclimated to the workforce again because I haven't worked in some time," Rose Juzang said.

That's a story the staff at WIN hear a lot. WIN is funded with federal dollars funneled through the state that allows the center to offer the computer courses and other classes free.

Center Director Wanda Freeland said the classes do more than just improve a student's employment opportunities.

"It gives them also a building of their self esteem so they have that confidence. When they do go into an interview they can say, 'I have this, I have this and I have this.'"

Freeland said with more industry moving in and others expanding, WIN's goal is to match skilled workers with employers.