Miami Herald

Posted on Mon, Sep. 09, 2013
LARC school’s IT students fix computers for free
By Paradise Afshar, The Miami Herald

For some, finding a job in the tech field can feel like a catch-22: Many employers want to hire people with experience, but it’s hard to get experience without getting hired in the first place.

To avoid that cycle, Bodley Celestin enrolled himself in a six-month training course at Learning About Repairing Computers Technical Institute just before graduating from Florida International University with a degree in information technology.

“I feel confident with this program,” said Celestin, 23, of Kendall. “It’s great.”

LARC works by training aspiring technicians in the IT field by teaching skills such as data backup and virus removal. Interns apply those skills by repairing computers brought into LARC’s Hialeah facility — for free.

“Our purpose is to get people work-ready,” said Albert Ruiz, founder of LARC. “It’s a guaranteed six months’ experience you can put on your résumé.”

Ruiz said that those who have completed the course have landed a job in information technology. Celestin, who graduated FIU in the summer, is set to complete his course soon and already has a job interview lined up.

He said enrolling in LARC helped him apply what he learned in college in a real-world setting.

But it’s not just those in the information technology field who enroll in the course.

Shalany Cardenas, 26, who works in the health insurance industry, took the course to learn a new skillset.

“I enjoy coming here,” said Cardenas, a Cutler Bay resident. "At the end of the day, computers are something of the future, and I want to be able to work on my own computer if I need it."

For enrollment information in the LARC program, or for information on bringing in a computer for repair, visit www.larctech.com or call 786-558-3188. The school/shop is located at 5335 W 20th Ave.