GVC Program

The Great Valley Center (GVC) is a community economic-development organization in the Central Valley. California Connects and the GVC created partnerships with community institutions to help 2,628 community members learn to use computers and the Internet via free classes offered at partner sites. The classes varied in length but were typically 6-8 sessions of two hours each. The GVC community trainers reached out to community members at public events and encouraged them to subscribe to broadband Internet service.

GVC Counties


The eighteen counties served by the GVC-managed component of California Connects were:

Amador County Calaveras County Colusa County
El Dorado County Fresno County Kern County
Kings County Madera County Mariposa County
Merced County Nevada County Placer County
San Joaquin County Stanislaus County Sutter County
Tulare County Tuolomne County Yuba County

Zoho Database: Self-reported data by community trainers using California Connect’s ‘Getting to Know You” form for 17 counties.
(Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Nevada, Placer, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tulare, Tuolume)

Data entered from June 2012 – July 2013.
Last updated July 3, 2013.
Data downloaded July 17, 2013.

GVC Outcomes and Impacts

The GVC program provided dedicated training in the structured and supportive environment of a small group. Community members learned alongside their peers with trainers focused on teaching them what they most wanted and needed to know. Trainees learned basic computer and Internet skills and gained the confidence to continue learning about technology.

Many GVC trainees grew in their ability to live with technology by…

  • Realizing that they could succeed and gain valuable skills in a formal educational setting
  • Developing a working process of note-taking that allowed them to remember and repeat computer and Internet lessons taught to them
  • Understanding a conceptual framework of computer usage rather than memorizing steps for individual tasks

Professional trainers tended to demonstrate greater levels of organization and patience than relatives, making learning through the GVC program effective and rewarding.

“Para mí la computadora era un labertinto, del cual yo quería entrar y empezar a buscar la salida, sabiéndo que al final encontraría muchos beneficios.”
— The computer was a labyrinth for me, one which I wanted to enter and begin to find an exit, knowing that in the end I would have found many benefits.

~ GVC trainee