Marketing 911: Retraining Workers


Susan Woods, FounderSusan Woods (left) founded Panorama Computer Learning center to retrain displaced manufacturing workers in North and South Carolina.  Panorama Computer Learning is a certified non-profit organization that provides basic computer proficiency skills training to its clients.

Susan is looking to increase the organization’s revenue by employing a more comprehensive marketing approach.  Like so many of us her core skill is “doing the work” and marketing is new to her. 

We would love to learn your perspective on how Susan might increase her revenues and help more needy workers.  Please post your suggestions as comments to this post (see below).


8 Responses to “Marketing 911: Retraining Workers”

  1. John Easton Says:

    Susan has been doing a lot of work lately, organizing events to generate revenue. I personally think this is a sound approach once the organization reaches critical mass. It takes way too much time and money to host a successful event.

    There are so many local companies laying people off and getting a ton of bad press for it. I suggest, meeting with the stakeholders at these companies and selling them on the good PR they could get by employing her firm to prepare laid off workers for transition.

    She could even come up with a PR process on behalf of the client company. If I were an HR manager, such an offer would apeal to me.

  2. Felicia Watlington Says:

    Perhaps Susan could do an article for the local press regarding the success that she has had with getting displaced workers retrained to be active participants in the economy. She could provide a “tip sheet” that she could provide as content for employers’ newsletters or other publications that reach her target market.

  3. John Easton Says:


    That is an awesome idea. I thought of reaching the press but not using a tips sheet. The press love tips.


  4. Susan Woods Says:

    Hello John and Felicia:

    Thank you very much for providing suggestions on how I can market the computer classes that I provide for displaced manufacturing employees through our “Learn the BASICS First! Computer Literacy Program”.

    Since January we have taught 70 displaced employees how to use the computer. Local employment agencies and community colleges refer their clients to us for “remedial” computer classes.

    We provide a nurturing and interactive learning environment that has proven successful since January 2003!

    Thank you for sharing your marketing ideas! I look forward to receiving even more!

    Susan Woods, MBA, MAT, BS
    Founder & President
    Panorama Computer Learning, Incorporated
    704.968.2769 |

  5. John Easton Says:


    Can you help us better understand where your gaps are? Meaning:

    1. Do you want to raise more money? If so, how much?
    2. What growth might you be funding (facilities, equipment, etc)?
    3. What are you currently doing to meet your marketing goals?

    Thanks in advance.

  6. Susan Woods Says:


    Great questions!

    Panorama Computer Learning provides six computer classes through its Learn the BASICS First! Computer Literacy Program.

    Those six classes are:
    1) Computer Basics 101: An Introduction to Computers;
    2) Microsoft 3-in-1: Learn Word, Excel, & PowerPoint;
    3) Microsoft Word Hands On;
    4) Microsoft Excel Hands On;
    5) Microsoft PowerPoint Hands On; and
    6) Microsoft Access Hands On.

    We provide Dell Notebook computers for students to use in our Hands On Classes.

    John, we need to raise $10,000 to add a Basic Typing Class to the six classes we currently offer because displaced manufacturing employees do not know how to type. Therefore, they become frustrated in the hands-on classes because they cannot keep up due to relying on the “hunt and peck” method of typing. We can eliminate that frustration by adding a Basic Typing Class as a prerequisite to the hands-on classes.

    I announced the possibility of a Basic Typing Class being added to our Program and we already have a waiting list of students who want to complete that class.

    The $10,000 will be used to pay the teacher’s salary and to purchase 20 licenses for the Kenexa Prove It! Typing Test which is used by most employment offices and temporary job agencies to assess typing skills.

    We currently rely on Public Service Announcements on radio stations and newspaper articles to market our Program. We also partner with the local employment offices to distribute flyers for our classes.

    Please feel free to share more marketing tips!

    We are anxious to learn!

    Susan Woods

  7. Marketing 911: The Legacy Company « The Eastonsweb Multimedia Blog Says:

    […] Retraining Workers […]

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