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Nevadans Battle Record Unemployment with Computers

July 29, 2010

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Nevadans already know the numbers too well. The state is battling 14.2 percent record unemployment this summer, and libraries say that's driving plenty of folks to local branches for free help learning new computer skills.

These days you need a computer just to apply for a job - let alone get one and keep one. That's according to Lisa Gibson, the computer center supervisor at West Las Vegas Library. She says free courses start with the basics like opening an e-mail account and crafting a resume, and there are plenty of takers.

"We see job seekers, job changers; a lot of people are mid-lifers. Many of the jobs they've done for the last 20 years - literally, that classification of job is gone now."

Free courses are also available for those seeking more advanced skills, in programs like Advanced Word and Excel. Details are available at local libraries and on the library website, Gibson says.

Local libraries can also teach patrons how to use the Nevada Career Information Services Database. Gibson calls it a powerful tool for job seekers, even those who have worked many different types of jobs.

"This system will allow you to put in two or three different resumes. It will also allow do assessment tests if you're not sure - what if you are changing careers? what if you want to go back to school? - and there's information about grants and financial aid."

Gibson says plenty of people are still intimidated by computers. She likens it to learning to drive a car: Once you have the basic skills, just about anyone can do it.

More information about free courses on the web is available at, and information on the state career database is at, then go into NCIS.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV