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Center offers free computer classes to veterans

The founder of an adult education school is looking for area veterans who want to learn about working with computers.

After Pahrump resident Tim Burke retired from the dot com industry, he opened Moving Forward Centers, focusing on adult vocational rehabilitation.

Burke is now forming the computer training classes targeting area veterans via his Moving Forward Centers. He hopes to get started later this month.

“Because there’s more than 6,000 veterans out here, a lot of them are retired and extremely bored, looking for something to do,” he said. “They did not grow up with computers like the kids today so their computer skills are limited.”

He said the idea for the company came to him after his father, a plumbing contractor, suffered a stroke at the age of 53, which left him wheelchair-bound.

“His plumbing career was over,” he said. “That was 30 years ago and there wasn’t much available in terms of retraining. My poor dad just ended up in a wheelchair for the next 20 years and not doing anything. Our focus has primarily been on adult vocational rehabilitation clients over the past ten years.”

Burke’s concern now is for individuals, who for one reason or another, cannot continue with their primary profession.

“My typical client might have been John the carpenter who got injured and couldn’t go back swinging a hammer, but he needed to work another 20 years,” he said. “We would give him computer skills. We want to keep him in the construction industry by giving him project management estimating skills and stuff like that, to be more of an administrator or a field supervisor.”

Burke said one of his founding partners secured proper funding for the classes which allowed him to start the program for all area veterans.

Burke said he was surprised to learn that many older veterans don’t have even basic computer skills, which are crucial in today’s workforce.

“We are looking to put together a group of veterans as long as we have funding available to train that particular group,” he said. “We’ll teach them how to use a computer, navigate and get around the web, as well as sending emails and stuff like that. The categories that we train in are broad-based and we are able to adapt our training to do what they’re looking for.”

The only qualification is a DD-214 form. Any discharge status qualifies.

“We are anxious to move forward and we could have something going fairly soon,” he said. “It takes about a week by the time someone decides they want to do it. They just go in and get signed up and we get all the approvals and the paperwork done.”

To learn more about the free computer training classes and schedules, call Burke at 775- 419-4526.

“The best thing to do is give me a call where I can meet with the veteran in person,” he said. “We can meet at the VFW and I’ve already met with a couple of gentlemen at the VA clinic.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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