Workforce Development Through Computer Skills Training
The FilCom Center has been offering computer training since the completion of its Economic Development Administration (EDA)-funded Tech Room seven years ago. The training session went into hiatus when the hard-wired desk top computers started slowing down. Earlier this year, the FilCom Center replaced the outdated computers with laptops and converted internet access into WIFI thus enabling the resumption of the computer classes anywhere in the facility. The first volunteer to help restart the computer enrichment classes was Conrad Abuel.
Recently retired as a Case Manager for the City & County of Honolulu’s Oahu Work Links Program and as an Accountant for the Department of Budget, Conrad offered to teach Computer Basics, a four session course that helped computer newbies to use a laptop. Held at the 3rd floor conference room of the FilCom office the course is limited to nine students per course. Conrad’s classes are held on Wednesdays, from 10 to 12 noon. Most of his students are recently arrived immigrants who are seeking employment but need computer skills to navigate today’s technological requirements. Others are retired seniors who want to use email or surf the internet or socialize via Facebook.
Conrad received his B.S. in Commerce degree, majoring in Accounting from Lyceum of the Philippines University, Manila. After spending his early schooling at Rafael Palma Elementary School, he attended Araullo High School, Manila, Philippines. He is married to Linda Abuel and the couple has three grown children.
After completing a session of Computer Basics, Conrad convinced his wife Linda, to volunteer as well. Linda now teaches the EXCEL courses on Saturdays, from 2 to 4 p.m. Currently the Chief Accountant at the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Mental Health Center, Linda brings years of experience in using spreadsheet software.
Linda attended Centro Escolar University since her elementary and high school days. She received her accounting degree from the University of Santo Tomas in 1967 and that same year was licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in the Philippines. Prior to immigrating to Hawaii in 1980, she was a Partner at L.C. Diaz & Company, CPAs, based in Manila, Philippines. Upon arrival in Hawaii, she was hired as an Audit Supervisor with DeLoitte & Touche, eventually becoming the Chief Accountant for Child & Family Service for 15 years.
In the early 1990s, Linda was recruited to volunteer for a fledgling non-profit whose fund development campaign theme was “Building the Dream”. This non-profit had the audacity to dream of building a community center that would “promote and perpetuate Filipino culture and customs in the State of Hawaii.” Linda headed the Budget Committee and was responsible for ensuring that the non-profit was at par with accounting standards and was transparent and accountable in the collection of all donations. When the FilCom Center was finally built, Linda served on its Board of Directors before moving on to other pursuits, and now is back as one of FIlCom’s treasured volunteers.
Conrad and Linda are also active in the Bulacan Circle of Hawaii, where Conrad now serves as one of its Board of Directors.