Southwest HRA delivers digital hope to senior community

CHESTER COUNTY, Tenn. — Southwest Human Resources Agency is wanting to increase digital literacy among West Tennessee among seniors.

And they are doing so with the help of a grant from West End Home Foundation.

Southwest HRA

“Our purpose is to go out and reach out to these individuals who are senior adults 60 and older, who are in a low income bracket, and who will come along a trainer inside of a classroom,” said Angela Gaters, the Homemaker Program Coordinator at Southwest HRA.

After the pandemic nearly shut down the world in 2020, many workers saw impacts on the older population who could not function in the online world. So to combat that, Southwest HRA is creating a program to help strengthen online skills.

“They will be trained 15 hours of training on a Chromebook that they will take home at the end. They will also receive counseling from our partner, Tech Goes Home Tennessee,” Gaters said.

Not only are they looking for applicants for the program, they are also searching for volunteers of all ages who are familiar with Google and Google Suites to help guide classes.

“We are looking for individuals who enjoy being around senior adults, who are patient with senior adults, and who would like to teach them in computer literacy,” Gaters said.

The program will be available in eight counties. However, the number of accepted applicants depends on the number of volunteers available per county. So they are encouraging anyone who is interested in volunteering to reach out.

“We are going to be covering eight counties. So we would like several from each county to come along and join our team,” Gater said.

They will begin accepting applications for the program on Sept. 1, and the program will begin on Oct. 1.

“Southwest is really excited. We’re really excited to get this going and off the ground and bringing technology to the seniors in our community,” said Lynn Newman, the Network Administrator Assistant at Southwest HRA.

Applications can be accessed on Sept. 1st through the website. To become a volunteer, you can contact Angela Gaters at the Southwest HRA at (731) 989-5111.

Volunteers need to have a general idea of working Google Suites including Google Docs, Google Sheets, Gmail, etc. However, Southwest does not expect volunteers to be experts. Volunteers will undergo 15 hours of training over two days, one in-person and one over Zoom.

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