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Free Community Skilling Competition in Mingo County Includes Prizes

August 31 st , 2022


Contact: Elizabeth Wells, New Heights Director, 304-236-5902 ext.1630


[Williamson, WV]– The Greater Williamson Community Development Corporation has partnered

with Microsoft Philanthropies and Williamson Health & Wellness Center’s New Heights Training program to launch a Community Skills Initiative in Mingo County. CSI Mingo helps job seekers and professionals gain new skills for in-demand roles in the digital economy. This suite of online training and resources is offered as part of a competition in October and can be accessed through the Community Skills Initiative website beginning in September. The site offers access to free online training courses that boost digital skills.

The cornerstone of the initiative is an Up-Skill-A-Thon competition that helps the workforce

become more prepared for in-demand roles in the digital economy. The competition will run

from October 16th – November 17th , 2022 and will include $10,000 in prize money.

Why is this happening?

The COVID-19 pandemic created an economic change and forced tens of millions of people out of work or to transition to new work. As technological innovation continues to require in-demand skills, investments in skills for employability training at the community level are growing. In 2020, Microsoft launched a global skills initiative to provide job skills training for unemployed and underemployed workers. In August 2022, Microsoft offered a soft launch of the next stage of its global skills initiative to help even more people.

Leasha Johnson was the first to hear of the opportunity from Microsoft and helped to bring the

resources to the area. “There is ten-thousand dollars in prize money for those who participate in

the online training program. My hope is that this sparks interests for families across Mingo

County and that we see participation across ages,” she says.

Elizabeth Wells will be the program lead for the Up-Skill-A-Thon in the month of October. She

hopes to not only get the word out about how to earn $10,000 in prizes, but also to make

computers available to everyone at key locations for those who do not have access to

computers. “I’m excited to be a part of this initiative and help bring digital skills and learning

opportunities to our community,” says Wells. “We hope to engage some influencers locally to

get the word out for October. With so much prize money to offer, we want to make sure that

everyone hears about it. We will also host a prize event after it wraps up to announce the

winners. I hope this reaches everyone, so please share the information with your family and

friends. Let’s make our community more skillful.”

Local employers, teachers, and churches are encouraged to share the CSI website as a

resource for online training and upskill opportunities. Anyone can tap into the program, including

employers or individuals. The site offers the tools to individuals who need new skills for the

digital economy. All of the information can be found at


The Greater Williamson Community Development Corporation (GWCDC) is a non-profit with the

mission to build prosperity and diversity as a rural investment vehicle that engages in economic

and community development initiatives. The GWCDC envisions Williamson as a place of hope,

innovation, and economic prosperity with access to capital, talent, and tools so future

generations can thrive.

Williamson Health & Wellness Center, Inc. (WHWC) is a federally qualified health center based in Williamson, WV. The mission is to build a culture of health through holistic community and clinical interventions to stimulate a thriving economy. WHWC operates New Heights Training

which provides career readiness training and job placement services.

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