Spring 2021 Class Offering

Partnership for Worker Education 

Spring 2021 Course Offerings 

To register for any of these classes, please complete the registration form (at https://www.umass.edu/worker-ed/register)


Computer offerings: 

Upgrade Your Computer Skills

Thursdays, April 1-29, 9 to 10:20 am

Good UMass jobs require more technical skills than ever before with more remote work due to Covid-19. In this 5-week class on Zoom, you will get a quick introduction to online Apps at UMass, then practice using your computer to learn Google Calendar, Docs, Sheets and Forms. It is free and all UMass staff can log in with your UMass ID. We will answer any related computer questions and boost your computer skills. A computer or tablet with internet connection is all you need. Fran Fortino, instructor

Introduction to MS Excel

Thursdays, April 1-29, 10:30 am to 12 pm

Learn to track your finances and keep a budget in this 5-week class on Zoom. We will cover the basic functions and terminology of MS Excel, the most used spreadsheet app. You will learn worksheet data entry, editing and formatting; saving and printing options; basic formulas and functions; and a few chart options. Topics may be added based on participant needs. Fran Fortino, instructor

Getting the Most Out of Google Photos

Fridays, February 26 and March 5, 10:30 am to 12 pm

Have oodles of digital photos for work or home, but don’t know what to do with them? Would you like to create a slide show for work or a wonderful photo album to share with friends and family? According to Google, “Google Photos is the home for your memories.” Google Photos will automatically organize and make your photos easily searchable. You can also order canvas or photo prints, create a movie, animate photos, or create a collage, all for free. This class will show you how to get the most out of Google Photos. Heather Morgan, instructor

Design with Canva

Fridays, March 19 and March 26, 10:30 am to 12 pm

Canva is a graphic design platform that can be used to create business cards, Zoom backgrounds, flyers, presentations, lesson plans, and more. Need to collaborate with others on a project? With Canva you can. Share your design and allow others to view or edit your project. You can even upload and edit your own photos. In this class you will learn how to use the Canva drag and drop interface to modify one of Canva’s free templates. The free Canva account comes with 250,000+ templates, 100+ design types, free photos and graphics, and 5GB of cloud storage. Heather Morgan, instructor

Microsoft Teams Basics

Thursday, February 18, 1 to 2 pm

This webinar is an introduction to Microsoft Teams, and will focus on this application as an essential workplace tool. Increasingly, colleges and departments, here on campus, are encouraging staff to explore all that Microsoft Teams has to offer. (This is a repeat of the webinar offered in Fall 2020.) Jeff Napolitano, instructor

Using Microsoft OneDrive

Choose one session:

Tuesday, March 2, 10 to 11am

Thursday, March 11, 1 to 2 pm

If you’re new to Microsoft Teams, or are migrating from Box or Google Drive, learn about OneDrive, how it stores files, how to use it in Teams and across UMass, in this 1-hour webinar. Jeff Napolitano, instructor


Career Growth & Learning

Résumés, Cover Letters & Interviewing Tips

Thursday, March 25, 10:30 am to 12 pm

Learn how to create a résumé that works for you, craft a cover letter that promotes your strengths and skills, practice interviewing, and gather tips on using social media, networking, and putting your best self forward in the world of work. Leslie Fraser, instructor.

Career and Education Advising

Contact Leslie Fraser for an appointment: 508-224-8281 or lfraser@umass.edu

Are budget cutbacks and the ongoing pandemic affecting your work? Do you need new skills for a changed world of work? Is this a good time to explore career and education options? Are you planning to start an apprenticeship, technical training, or college program and need some support for going back to school? Help with résumés is also offered.


Writing & Communication Courses

Writing that Works

Thursdays, March 4 to March 25, 1 to 2 pm

Do you want your writing to leap off the screen or page? Do you want every word to tell and every message to compel? In this 4-week Zoom class, we will use writing exercises, class feedback, and writing resources to discover what makes for good writing and keeps readers interested in what you have to say. We will review basic rules for good writing and learn to use powerful words to improve your writing. And we will learn to review, revise, and copyedit, seeing our writing with new eyes. Everyone is welcome—bring your computer along with your love of words. Leslie Fraser, instructor


Beginning Level Workplace English

10 weeks, beginning February 16, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 to 3 pm

Are you comfortable understanding and speaking English at work? Do you want to read and write English better? Beginning English class teaches you vocabulary and grammar to help you at work and in your daily life. In Spring 2021, we will study about work and home life in the Covid-19 pandemic. Your teacher and classmates will help you feel more confident with your English skills. Melissa Kane, instructor


Intermediate Level Workplace English

10 weeks, beginning February 17, Mondays and Wednesdays, 1 to 3 pm

Learners will work at an intermediate level to improve everyday communication skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing English. Lessons will focus on language needs for work and home, with the goal of enabling students to communicate effectively and confidently. Amy Brodigan, instructor



Workplace Wellness Courses

Mindfulness for Workplace Wellness

Weekly one-hour drop-in sessions on Mondays, February 22 to April 19, 12 to 1 pm

As some staff return to campus and most work from home, many of us are looking for ways to focus and find clarity in our workday. In this weekly class, we will learn mindfulness practices for focusing and stress reduction. And we will explore resources for good health and wellbeing. Join us every week, or drop in when you can, over Zoom. Leslie Fraser, facilitator


Joining Together for Workplace Support and Strategies

Weekly drop-in sessions on Tuesdays, February 23 to April 20, 12 to 1 pm

As Covid-19 protocols follow us into 2021, many of us are challenged by juggling family, childcare, and remote learning with work life demands. This drop-in session is designed for those seeking strategies and sharing ideas for working from home while connecting with others, virtually. Join us every week, or when you can, over Zoom. Leslie Fraser, facilitator


Creating a Respectful Workplace

Choose one session:

Thursday, March 4, 10 am to 12 pm

Tuesday, April 6, 2 to 4 pm

Wednesday, May 5, 10 am to 12 pm

Thursday, June 3, 2 to 4 pm

The University of Massachusetts is committed to promoting inclusive workplaces, ensuring all employees understand their role in creating a respectful work environment, and providing information on the resources and procedures available to address concerns. This workshop, offered by the Partnership for Worker Education, Workplace Learning & Development, and Equity and Inclusion, is a campus response to support new employees in creating a community of dignity and respect. The Zoom workshop explores what signals respect at work, what signals disrespect, and strategies to cultivate inclusion and belonging to build a culture of respect at UMass. Facilitated by Partnership for Worker Education and Workplace Learning and Development


Building Bridges Courses 

The Building Bridges Public Art and Engagement Initiative draws on the power of solidarity and creative expression to bring people together and create a bridge across difference. Drawing on our campus commitment to Building a Community of Dignity and Respect, the Building Bridges courses seek to foster new connections among UMass community members who come from greatly varied backgrounds and hold differing perspectives. These courses are co-sponsored by the Office of the Associate Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.


Our Immigrant Voices

Tuesdays, 8 virtual sessions, starting on March 2, 11 am to 12 pm

This Building Bridges course brings together immigrant employees to get to know each other and to discuss ways they would like to amplify their voice and visibility. Participants and facilitators will work together using Photovoice—where participants take photos to highlight important issues in their lives and stimulate dialogue—and create a display that will be showcased and presented to the campus community. Anyone in the UMass staff community interested in being a part of this course is encouraged to sign up. Jacob Carter, facilitator


Showcasing Worker Artists at UMass

Thursdays, 8 virtual sessions starting February 25, 1 to 2 pm

This course brings together worker artists to get to know each other and to explore the ways in which they can showcase the talents of worker artists on campus. Participants will be planning for different exhibitions on campus—including an all-campus showcase event in spring 2021—and how to increase the visibility of worker artists, their art and their experiences on campus and beyond. Anyone in the UMass staff community interested in being a part of this course is encouraged to sign up Joe Connolly and Jacob Carter, facilitators


Creating Art from Labor: Ralph Fasanella and the Bread and His Roses Work

Wednesdays, 3 sessions, starting February 24, 12 to 1 pm. Our second session, March 3, will be a 90-minute session

As part of our Building Bridges programming on the theme of worker rights as human rights, this three-session course will examine the connection between art and labor, focusing on the Massachusetts-based labor art created by worker-artist Ralph Fasanella.  We chose Fasanella because of his iconic series on the 1912 Lawrence “Bread and Roses” strike; we will look at this critical event in labor history, the ways in which Fasanella’s art portrays the events, how his art reflects labor and working life in the time and culture in which he lived, and how his life and work connected with the struggles for worker, civil, and human rights. Continuing a tradition in this series of courses, the class will include an open virtual video showing, combining a segment of a gallery talk from the Smithsonian American Art Museum entitled, “Ralph Fasanella: Lest We Forget” with interview excerpts of Fasanella discussing his work on the Bread and Roses strike. The class will also provide opportunities to reflect on and share with the class art that connects to your own life and work. Pat Greenfield and Jacob Carter, facilitators


Watch.Learn.Grow. Film Event “Ralph Fasanella: Lest We Forget”

Wednesday, March 3, 12 to 1:30 pm

Join us for this virtual film event to learn about Massachusetts-based worker-artist Ralph Fasanella. We will see the ways in which Fasanella’s art portrays the 1912 Lawrence MA “Bread and Roses” strike, how his art reflects labor and working life in the time and culture in which he lived, and how his life and work connected with the struggles for worker, civil, and human rights. This film event combines footage from a gallery talk from the Smithsonian American Art Museum entitled, “Ralph Fasanella: Lest We Forget” with interview excerpts of Fasanella discussing his work on the Bread and Roses strike. This event is part of the Office of Equity and Inclusion’s Watch.Learn.Grow. film series. All are welcome.


Building Bridges Special Topics: We Are For Freedoms

Thursdays, Feb. 11, Feb. 18, and April 8, 1 to 2 pm

This course is a collaboration with the UMass University Museum of Contemporary Art (UMCA) and invites the UMass community to take part in their current, interdisciplinary exhibition, We Are For Freedoms. Course participants will actively engage with the exhibition by creating their own creative responses to the original call for art, “What does freedom mean to you?” Beginning with a virtual gallery tour, participants are then invited into dialogue to reflect and discuss the exhibit while considering the possibilities for creative responses. After seven weeks, course participants will come back together to share their work with each other. These original works will be photographed by the museum and featured in an online presentation. The pieces will be physically unified in Fall 2021 at an appropriate time and place. This course is partially funded by a Campus Climate Improvement grant through the Office of Equity and Inclusion. Amanda Herman and Jacob Carter, facilitators



Facilities and Campus Services Career Ladder

This Career Ladder program is for Facilities and Campus Services custodial and grounds employees who are covered by a UMass/AFSCME CBA. This is a joint partnership effort between the union and management. It provides a clear pathway for moving up at the workplace. Workers build up their skills through trainings and educational programming. In doing so, they increase their chances for promotion.


Math and Measurements for the Trades

5-Weeks, 10 Sessions starting on May 25

Tuesday/Thursday at either 8:00 AM or 4:30 PM

This class will help you improve your knowledge and confidence in using mathematics and measurements. You will get to learn about and review the baseline math and measurement skills needed to learn trades and work in them, including learning how to correctly use a tape measure. The class is grounded in ‘real world’ examples of how math and measurements are used day-to-day in different trades work here at UMass and is part of the Facilities and Campus Services Career Ladder Program. Intended for custodial and grounds employees in F&CS. Jason Burbank, Instructor

Classes start on May 25th and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays over the course of five weeks. The class is offered at two different times - from 8:00-9:00 AM and from 4:30-5:30 PM - in order to accomodate for both first and second shifts in Plant Custodial. The dates are May 25, 27; June 1, 3, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29; July 1. Full attendance is expected. 


Exploring the Trades: Plumbing, HVAC, and Asbestos

4 virtual sessions: times and dates to be announced

This course invites Physical Plant and Residential Life Maintainers to learn about the Career Ladder Apprenticeship program and the different opportunities in Facilities and Campus Services. Along with a general overview of how different trades help keep UMass going, you will hear directly from lead tradespeople here at UMass. Because of the pandemic, we have decided to offer this course virtually, but registration is required. This course is part of the Facilitates and Campus Services Career Ladder program and open to Physical Plant and Residential Life Maintainers. Jacob Carter, Ray Samson, Thomas Fydenkevez, Bob Hartwright, facilitators


Community Works: Pre-Apprenticeship for the Building Trades

Community Works is a state-registered pre-apprenticeship program for adults to enter the building trades. If you’re interested in a new career in construction and transportation industries, Community Works will prepare you and introduce you to the world of Laborers, Carpenters, Electricians, and more. Classes take place online (via Zoom) Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, with in-person, hands-on training on Saturdays. Our next cycle begins in March. Sign up to get more information and have access to enrollment.

We highly value employee suggestions for course offerings.  Thank you so much.