New computers for Wash. job resource centers

Job seekers who have struggled to search for job openings or create a new resume using slow, clunky computers at local WorkSource offices are about to get a much-needed assist.

The Employment Security Department is investing about $1.25 million to replace some 1,500 computers — some as old as 10 years — in the job-seeker resource rooms at most of the 68 WorkSource offices across the state. The installation of the computers and new, energy-efficient monitors should be completed by the end of the summer.

“The resource room in a WorkSource office is the heart of where job searches happen,” said Employment Security Commissioner Karen Lee. “By improving the quality and speed of the equipment, we hope to serve more customers and improve the quality of the WorkSource experience for them.”

WorkSource is a partnership of Employment Security, other state agencies, local governments, colleges and nonprofit organizations that work together to provide free employment and training services to job seekers and employers. More than 270,000 people received assistance at Washington’s WorkSource offices in 2008.

In addition to access to computers and the Internet, WorkSource provides telephones, fax machines and other resources to help people find a job.

WorkSource also is distributing free e-learning vouchers as part of Microsoft’s Elevate America program. The vouchers are available to people who are interested in improving their computer skills.