It had been a dream dormant since 1999. After receiving her Master’s Degree in Educational Technology (Human Resources Specification), Miss Amber Hawkins started her journey of obtaining a job in one capacity or another to become a computer trainer. Her knowledge of knowing IBM and Macintosh platforms bridged a connection to additional work experiences that included conference planning, volunteer management, program development, and drug prevention education. Unfortunately more than five unforeseen layoffs almost shattered the dream (or so she thought).
After another layoff in late Spring 2004, a friend suggested becoming a business owner. It had been a passing thought but nothing seriously taken. During that time, her friend talked about ASSETS Toledo, a non-profit organization that helped individuals learn what it took to become self-employed. About mid-August 2004, Amber Hawkins decided that everything else was tried, and that it was time to take that step of faith.
She received her Small Business Management Certificate in December 2004. Miss Hawkins was determined to begin the path of entrepreneurship. With $1,000 of her own money from unemployment checks invested, Your Computer Needs of Toledo, LLC was birthed January 1. 2005. Though a smaller than anticipated customer base exist, Your Computer Needs of Toledo. LLC informed many of its existence via word of mouth and flyers. Furthermore, networking events were heavily attended, as well as many business cards and brochures printed and distributed.
Since 2005, achievements that are now part of Your Computer Needs of Toledo. LLC’s history include:
- Small Business Management Certificate from the Brown Bag Business Development Training Series–Minority Contractors and Business Assistance Professional (MCBAP/EOPA) Program
- Certificate of Attendance to the Toledo Chamber of Commerce Government Contracting Seminar (Owens Community College)
- Listings including www.upwork.com (formerly Elance) and www.guru.com.
- The Microsoft MOS Master Instructor Certification
- The MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) Certification from the State of Ohio
- The EDGE (Encouraging Diversity & Growing Equity) Certification from the State of Ohio
- SAM.gov registered (formerly CCR.gov) for federal contracts
- Ohio Turnpike SBE/LDBE/MBE Certifications
In the words of Miss Hawkins, President/CEO:
“This company provides customized computer training for home users-on their own computers-from the comfort of their own homes (its core foundation). From there, onsite computer training and consulting were made available to businesses (small, medium, and large), nonprofits, and other faith-based organizations. Products and other services provided by the company still include include business cards, brochure templates, flyer templates, Internet research, virtual assistance, conference/convention planning, and public speaking. As the company grew, online computer training and the purchasing of computers and accessories were made available via the company’s website and additionally is an Authorized Amazon Influencer that sells computers and accessories online.
In continuing with the 14th year, Your Computer Needs of Toledo, LLC reflects on previous customers the company served from seniors and individuals gaining computer training in their homes, to grant writing assistance for two non-profit organizations, to creating forms for an appraisal company, conducting small group training to a Toledo-area Fortune 500 company, and creating/printing a special events program for a local social-service organization.
There are those still today who do not understand that computers and technology are necessities that need to become a part of their lives. My goal is to continue bridging the gap between those who know and don’t know about computers (no matter the learning level). It was my passion and my mission, and REMAINS so. Through much prayer emerged gratitude for this opportunity. It’s growing to the point where the presence of online computer training will transcend into other avenues, branch out into impacting other industries, and have the ability to be more globally accessible.
Moreover, the ever-changing landscape of computers and technology will command updated devices, sleeker designs of those devices, fast-paced software programs, and the need for generations of people to understand that the world will change no matter what.”