ReTech: an expanding, non-profit, computer-focused academy - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

ReTech: an expanding, non-profit, computer-focused academy

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YAKIMA, WA - If you want to learn software and how to repair computers, then there is an academy in Yakima just for you. ReTech is a non-profit computer academy that's been in Yakima for six years. For Sandra Ellingsworth, ReTech has been life-changing.

"My journey has been a long one, very difficult," said Ellingsworth. "But I have hope now, that I can carry out a job which makes me a lot happier in life."

For the last 18 years of her life, Ellingsworth has been living with an unknown illness. At one point, it left her unable to walk for three years.

"I hadn't gone to work because I was afraid that I was not going to be able to accomplish anything," she admitted. "First of all, I was afraid I was going to get sick again."

But that changed after she enrolled, and now she's employed with ReTech and wants to help the Latino community.

"One of the issues with the Hispanic community is that there isn't a lot of knowledge when it comes to technology, and the idea is to expand into that," said Ellingsworth.

Over twenty courses are offered, and ReTech students cover costs through scholarships. It takes an average of two months to complete a program, and teachers help students find a job.

To meet the needs of students, ReTech will soon be expanding in Yakima to the historic Howard House off of North 1st Street, and to the Tri-Cities. Teacher Paul Coffman says that they are committed to helping anyone who walks through their doors.

"We talk about the homeless, we talk about panhandling, we talk about the unemployed, about everybody on food stamps and disability and we'll take that population and work real strongly with them," said Coffman. 

For more information, you can call ReTech at 509-494-8361 or visit their website, www.retechacademy.org.

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