Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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July 16, 2012

Job Seekers Can Use On-Line Learning System to Upgrade their Skills

Employment advisor Michelle Smith, right, shows customers how to set up an account and select courses through the Metrix E-Learning System offered by Oswego County Workforce New York. Job seekers have literally thousands of courses to choose from to test their proficiency and upgrade their skills. They can study at their own pace wherever there is high speed Internet access.

FULTON- Job seekers who are looking to upgrade their skills can now enroll in a new on-line learning system through the Oswego County Workforce New York offices operated by the County Division of Employment and Training.

The Metrix E-Learning System allows people to choose from thousands of course topics to learn new skills. Additionally, some programs can lead to industry recognized certifications in fields such as human resources, computer technologies, and others.

Christine Weaver, Coordinator of Client Services for Oswego County Workforce New York, said the system is designed to give job seekers access to a wide range of training tools and reference materials to develop their skills and earn occupational certificates. Customers learn how to use the service in an orientation session and can work at their own pace. They have unlimited access for 90 days.

People who want to test their proficiency in fields such as accounting, auto CAD, data entry, or medical terminology, can use the "Prove-It" set of software, which offers more than 1,200 topics. The MedCom catalog contains a set of nearly 400 healthcare education and reference topics for people to study. A third section, the "Skills Soft" library, contains more than 4,000 topics ranging from accounting to workplace safety.

"For the longer term unemployed, this is a way to show potential employers that they are using their time to learn new skills and keep their skills current," said employment advisor Michelle Smith. "On average, most of our customers complete eight to ten courses. We have had a few high achievers who have done more than 100 courses in 90 days. In the last six months, our customers have collectively spent nearly 1,000 hours completing more than 550 courses - and as one customer stated - 'you can teach an old dog new tricks!'"

The topics are geared toward occupational skills, not academic performance, said Smith.

"The proficiency courses are particularly helpful in measuring a person's ability in a skill they've learned in a previous job," she said. "Employees learn a lot on the job but often don't have the certification to back it up. This system tests a person's proficiency in an area and proves to potential employers that they have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills. Some local employers use the skills assessments to screen potential employees."

The Metrix E-Learning system is available free of charge to unemployed or underemployed county residents age 18 and older. Students must complete at least two courses within two weeks of their orientation session. The system is accessible from any site with a high speed Internet connection. People can use the service from their home, a local library, or the Workforce computer labs at 200 N. Second St., Fulton and 100 Spring St., Mexico.

The Fulton office is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Mexico office is open Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

To sign up for the Metrix E-Learning System orientation or for more information, call Oswego County Workforce New York at 591-9000.

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