Friday, July 31, 2015

Last Day in PROTEC classroom

What we learned this week is that success is all about being engaged! And this group showed up, dressed up and jumped in to the pilot program with good will and humor. Today we will meet with our various sponsors and employers and celebrate the two-week intensive. Over the next few weeks this group of 20 will be working on job sites in Santa Fe County. My feeling is employers are going to love this bunch as much as I do!

Tutoring Center Coordinator job active

Title: Tutoring Center Coordinator
Posting Number: 2015-0034Staf-P
Department: Tutoring Center
Internal Posting
Posting will close at mid-night, August 5, 2015
To review the full job description and apply, use the following link:

Some PROTEC-ers met with Cheryl Fields yesterday and are encouraged to apply for this position at Santa Fe Community College.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Windows Toolkit

Today someone asked me about password mangers and tools I use, and I promised a writeup so here goes...

Tools: there are a bunch of tools and utilities for Windows.  I'm sure there are many excellent ones I don't use, but here are the critical few that I use all the time.  Each has a free version (not a trial) with upgrades/subscriptions you can purchase for more features.
  1. AVG AntiVirus - easily the best free version I've used, worth a subscription.
  2. Advanced System Care - a very complete set of tools to manage & tune Windows
  3. CCleaner - just sweeps up after you, but boy does it clean
  4. Disktective - small program that tells you what is using up all your disk space.
  5. PDF-XChange Editor - remove Adobe Reader and replace it with this. Just do it.
 My passwords discussion ran a little long ... click "Read more" for all the gory details.

MTA Windows Fundamentals Exam Prep

Here are some references and links to help prepare for the Windows Fundamentals Exam.  First, you'll need a copy of the exam scope and the study guide, which can be found on my OneDrive (in the MTA folder).  Download these to your laptop or tablet for reference.

Please read this Exam Profile from Pearson/Certiport to understand what you'll need to know.

If you already know a fair amount about working with the Windows OS (by that I mean that terms like "OS", "Control Panel" , "Device Manager" , and "Windows Explorer" are familiar to you), you can start working through the practice tests in MeasureUp and fill in the gaps you have by looking up unfamiliar terms or concepts.

There are a TON of resources online to help you prepare.  Just search "MTA 98-349" ...

Here are some flashcards and practice tests from CRAM: Windows Fundamentals

Here are some decent video tutorials  - note they are not in order.

Please use the comments section to share what you find helpful!

Connecting Workers with Employers

Starting August 3rd PROTEC-ers will begin making connections to intern on job sites in Santa Fe County. Employers that are offering entry-level training and training opportunities range from local government to the film industry. Many students in PROTEC are looking for stable good-paying positions and are eager to showcase their skills in the community.

From clerical administrative work, event planning, social media marketing to economic development students in PROTEC are getting a chance to expand their resume and get the next job opportunity.

We will begin posting our success stories over the next few weeks! Stay tuned!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Meet Gerard Martinez

Gerard J. Martínez y Valencia worked over 25 years in university, state and local government sectors as a project management, special events, administrative, media, community and public relations specialist and is a private sustainability consultant. Gerard has served on several local, regional and national boards and committees. Currently, Gerard is the Career Technical Adviser for the Accelerate Program at Santa Fe Community College, a U. S. Department of Energy initiative emphasizing in academic and career readiness training. Gerard is an adjunct instructor for the School of Trades, Technology, Sustainability and Professional Studies at SFCC. Gerard is an opsimath, enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife and family, music leadership for his church’s LifeTeen Choir, officiating volleyball, serving on the Northern New Mexico Citizen’s Advisory Board for the Los Alamos National Laboratory and working on his family’s urban farm.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Meet Kim MiLee

Kim MiLee has worked in career skills, recruitment, marketing and branding for over ten years.  During this time, Kim has worked in the northern New Mexico region helping re-careering adults, students, and youth to prepare for a competitive job market.  She is dedicated to providing pathways for career development, training and job-seeking best practices that align with an individualized career plan.  From her experience in both career advising and recruitment, Kim is uniquely poised to help individuals create a vision that aligns with the right employer fit.

Asking good questions ...

Yesterday, we discussed some of the critical skills required in the modern workplace.  For me, the #1 skill is the ability, and the mindset, to figure things out.  This is especially true in computing and internet technology, where the landscape can shift, change, and evolve very rapidly.

There are some core skills you can work on in this area!  The first is just getting comfortable with the fact that you don't know.  You don't.  But you will.  Let yourself shift from feeling like you need to be an expert, and especially from concern that you don't know, to being a learner who can very quickly find, understand, and then apply new information.

There are a couple of related skills that really help with this.  The first is asking good questions in your internet searches..  You can find out most anything once you know how to ask for just what you need.  I've included some links and help below.

The second is taking risks based on understanding a goal, and making your best effort to work towards a good solution.  It helps to check in with peers & supervisors (often) along the way to verify your assumptions & direction.  Don't just wing it and present a final product that could be way off the mark; take a stab at the goal & direction, validate it, and show your work along the way!

LearnFree has some nice self-paced courses on Internet searching and getting things done:
Finally, here's an infographic on effective Google search techniques, written for students, but generally handy ...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

MOS Excel 2013 Exam Prep

Dateline: Santa Fe, Thursday, July 23, 2015

Here are some handy links for learning & understanding Excel, and preparing for the MOS Excel certification exam.  I will update this post with tips and suggestions as we go.  Please use the comments section to add your own tips & learnings for other students.  If I really like your tip, I'll add it to the post!

gmetrix - I've created a new code for your test prep, which I'll share with you in all in class.  Please use this code from now on so I can see what you've completed and help you with gaps.  I recommend you attempt & complete EACH of the "core project" and "core testing" sets from the question pool.  You can take them in training mode first, but then do try them in the testing mode.  They have a nice support page here.

Preparing for the "real" exam.  The exam is taken in Console8.  We'll install it today & get each of you an account.  There are more resources there to help you prepare, just don't take the test yet!

Here is a nice overview of the MOS certification exam and how to prepare:  MOS 2013 Exam Test Drive

Finally, here are most of the Excel-related links we've been using from my OneDrive:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Meet Jim Sanborn

Jim Sanborn has been a computing professional since 1980, when he worked as an undergraduate systems operator at the University of Rochester, supporting one of those giant IBM computers with tape drives, dot matrix printouts, and really heavy exchangeable disks like you see in old movies.  He has a BS in Math and Computer Science from the University of Rochester, and an MS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland.  He's worked in aerospace, robotics, AI, factory automation, and supply chain management.  He does everything on his phone now, probably just like you, and keeps up with all the really cool stuff by looking at his daughter's phone.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Meet Monique Anair

Monique Anair currently serves as co-lead faculty for the film program and as coordinator for the Grants and Contract Training department at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico. During her tenure with Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) she helped create and implement the Film Technician Training Program (FTTP) that actively trained film technicians for the state of New Mexico between 2005 and 2009. She led the development in 2009 of an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Film at SFCC. Over 500 New Mexicans have participated in the FTTP with over 100 students completing their AAS degrees. Monique has initiated two articulation agreements for bachelor degree pathways for New Mexicans; A BFA with the Institute for American Indian Arts and an accelerated BA program with the Seattle Film Institute. Most recently Monique has worked with local, state and federal government grants leveraging funding for training and education in the fields of media, computer science and information technology. Monique completed her Master of Arts in Education Leadership and Community Organizations at the University of New Mexico in 2013. At Santa Fe Community College she teaches cinematography, media and the environment, women make media, and video production.


Okay here we go! 
We have twenty amazing participants that have jumped in with both feet and are becoming some of the fastest problem solvers I have seen. After a debrief this am about Day One we jumped into mobile technology. Each eight hour day in the life of a Pro-Tec'er is one of multiple challenges from learning inter-connectivity, OS management, Excel and social media and building their own business savvy. 

I am looking forward to what we learn today and who we become in eight days from today!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Applicants Get in On the Ground (About to get Connected)

Over thirty applicants interviewed in Santa Fe for the PROTEC program beginning July 20th at Santa Fe Community College. Though it was difficult reviewers selected a diverse group of Santa Fe County residents that had experience in education, sales, arts, real estate, business ownership and medical industries. Each participant will bring what they know to the classroom and apply those skills with Microsoft Office Technical Assistant training, social media savvy and up-to-date career readiness skills.

Employers who are interested in working with interns from the PROTEC program can be in touch with Monique Anair at or by calling 505 428-1738. Each student will receive a stipend of $500 for completing 80 hours of work on a Santa Fe County job site.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Application Deadline July 8th!

All applicants should submit application materials by July 8th and their Work Key assessment results by July 10th at noon to Jeff Barela

Classes begin July 21st at Santa Fe Community College.

For more information visit

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Work Keys to Apprenticeship

PROTEC begins July 20th on the Santa Fe Community College campus. One of the steps toward getting into a training program like PROTEC is to take a Work Keys Assessment. Work Keys are designed to evaluate the skills you have right now and help labor leaders and employers help you find the right training and job placement for those skill sets. The value of Work Keys is becoming more apparent in apprenticeship-styled programs like PROTEC. It saves people who are retraining or looking for new skills time and money and helps employers find the skilled labor they are seeking.

If you are interested in applying for the PROTEC program in Santa Fe County email Jeff Barela at