Amount Requested: $7,500 for General Operating Support
Mission: To strengthen and enrich individuals’ technological knowledge by providing access, education and skills training that enhances their growth potential in a competitive world.
Constituents Served: We serve individuals across the entire demographic spectrum in Waynesboro, Staunton and counties of Augusta and Nelson. WALT is particularly dedicated to helping individuals of low-income and disadvantaged status. In 2015, 190 people (50% of whom were unemployed) were served with training, education, and services. A total of 49 people obtained employment through WALT, and 21 people started college.
Program Overview: WALT is working to reduce the digital divide that exists in our community. It is part of a federal initiative called “digital inclusion” that works to ensure individuals and disadvantaged groups have public access to computers, training and development.
WALT celebrated five years of providing services to the community, through two locations, Main Street, Waynesboro and the Rosenwald Community Center. Their services offerings are more accessible to segments of the economically disadvantaged populations of Waynesboro, Staunton, Augusta and Nelson counties. The organizational focus is to connect community members, particularly youth, with the technology skills and education they need to lead a more proficient life, gain, or maintain technology-driven employment to increase their livelihood. It is evident that today’s economy and society relies heavily on computers and Internet-based skills and abilities for success.
With the expansion of the Rosenwald Computer Lab, WALT has been able to offer an after school program for disadvantage children and youth that provide mentorship, tutoring in elementary math and reading; middle school math and science; English as a Second Language (ESL, basic, intermediate and advanced); and an open access computer lab for the community.
To address the needs of our diverse community WALT has strategically formed collaborations with the Salvation Army, WARM, New Direction , Waynesboro Housing Authority and Shenadoah Social Services (VIEW Program) to provide computer training to economically challenged, homeless, abused women and disadvantaged individuals. This collaboration connects six key programs who are providing resources to lift individuals to a level of self-sufficiency.
The Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board (SVWIB) has certified WALT as a training provider for the State of Virginia. This qualifies WALT to receive eligible referrals from WIA One-Stop Centers for the following training programs: Mouse Aerobics, Keyboarding, Introduction to Computers, Introduction to Computers II, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
With additional funding WALT can effectivity focus on progam offerings and hiring quality staffing to provide consistent training and computer access to the community.
Current Operating Budget: $136,881