Veterans gain computer skills, job training through local non-profit

Bill Mount

Posted: Apr 7, 2021 / 06:00 PM EDT / Updated: Apr 7, 2021 / 06:02 PM EDT RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)— One local non-profit organization is helping veterans in-need gain job training and computer skills for a brighter future. Tech For Troops relies on computer donations to help get the necessary […]

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)— One local non-profit organization is helping veterans in-need gain job training and computer skills for a brighter future. Tech For Troops relies on computer donations to help get the necessary equipment to veterans.

Workers take the donated computers apart, wipe the hard drive clean and teach veterans everything they need to know about using it.

Mark Casper, Tech for Troops Executive Director, said they offer basic computer classes every two weeks. Up to 10 students are allowed in the classroom at one time to allow for social distancing.

Casper says they teach veterans about each part of a laptop, how to turn it on, what WiFi is and how to navigate the internet.

“If you don’t have that tool, you’re going to lose your job, you’re going to fall behind and that is our role is to help the veterans and their families with the gift of a computer, so they can bridge the digital divide,” said Casper.

Marshall White completed a month’s worth of courses two years ago at Tech for Troops. He says he enrolled in classes after leaving the VA Hospital.

White wanted to pursue a career in the information technology industry, through Tech for Troops he learned about Windows 10 and setting up an email account.

“You’ve got to start somewhere in order to build and get you to the next level,” he said.

The organization also helps veterans to get their resume on track.

“It helped me out tremendously, 500 resumes,” said White.

Casper said although the pandemic has highlighted families’ need to online access and tools, it’s also key for veterans making the adjust to civilian life.

“It’s like a lightbulb going off and illuminating a dark room. Once they understand what a computer a tool can do for you the world’s the limit,” he said.

White has since landed a job at a service provider company. 

“I thank God that they were here to help me out, so without them the step could’ve been on a different lane but it wasn’t. I took advantage of the step that was placed in front of me,” he said.

He’s now looking to buy a house and car.

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