BID Offers Computer Class for SAM Ambassadors


By Alexis Neely

As part of the DowntownDC Business Improvement District’s (BID) workforce development initiative, Safety/Hospitality and Maintenance ambassadors (SAMs) beginning in September now have the opportunity to take a computer training course. 

A computer skills class was the number one request from SAMs, according to an in-house survey. The course, taught by educator and motivational speaker Rodney Burris, includes exercises in keyboarding, creating and stylizing documents and emailing.  

An initial assessment of each participant who signed up, showed varying levels of computer experience. However, Burris’ style of teaching engages each individual and meets them where they are, so all may benefit from the class. 

“The goal is not necessarily to make everyone an expert, it’s really to make sure that each person is able to grow somehow,” said BID Director of Public Space Operations Gerren Price. “[It’s] not ‘You’re at four words now and you have to get to 100 by the end of this session.’ It’s really ‘Let’s get to 10, let’s get to 20.’ I think that’s what’s made it feel so approachable.” 

The class began on Wednesday, Sept. 26, and will meet regularly through the end of summer 2019.  

Price said the class is an example of how BID can show it is truly invested in SAMs’ futures. 

“People will be able to take tangible lessons and apply it to their day-to-day jobs and improve work performance, but I think it’s also a personal thing,” he said. “It’s the kind of thing that you invest in that has so many benefits.” 

The BID recently began hosting an English as a Second Language (ESL) course for SAMs and will soon host an entrepreneurship course, providing further avenues for personal and professional development.