N.Y. (WETM) — The New York State Department of Labor has launched a new digital literacy program to help job seekers gain marketable skills.

“As New York State looks to attract businesses to increase economic opportunities, we must ensure New Yorkers are well aligned with the needs of businesses,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “Our partnership with Northstar Digital Literacy will help our workforce gain the computer competence they need to keep up with the rapid changes of the digital global market.”  

In a 2022 survey conducted by the NYSDOL, 44% of responding businesses said that basic computer skills and computer literacy were lacking among new employees and job applicants. The computer skills the businesses in the survey desired the most were email, Microsoft Excel proficiency, Microsoft Word proficiency, typing, and data analysis.

New Yorkers seeking these skills and more can visit one of the NYSDOL’s career centers for free training. People living in the Southern Tier can use this link to find their local career center.

The program starts with self-guided assessments with self-directed learning to follow. This online program is designed to help people assess their proficiency levels and learn skills they are lacking. The goal is to better prepare New Yorkers for the workforce and supply businesses with more qualified candidates.

Those interested in participating in this program should contact their local career center.