What is ReSET?

ReSET is a free job training program offered by Finger Lakes ReUse. ReSET (Skills and Employment Training) trainings are embedded in hands-on learning environments throughout ReUse Center departments.  Interested applicants can choose between two different tracks: 

  • ReSET Technology, based in our eCenter Computer Reuse Program, provides skills in computer technology
  • ReSET Retail and Customer Service, based in our ReUse Center, trains in skills related to sales and customer care

What Do Participants Learn and When is ReSET Offered?

ReSET Retail and Customer Service 

We accept applicants to the unpaid entry level training on a rolling basis. Accepted applicants may enter the program at any time, except when our trainee capacity is reached, at which time they are placed on a waiting list. Schedule and number of hours per week are set according to the trainee's and ReUse Center’s schedule and needs, with a minimum of 8 hours per week, 2 hours per shift and a required weekend shift. The training is a minimum of 140 hours however it may be longer according to trainee’s needs. Those who successfully complete the entry level training are invited to apply for a competitive 15-week full time paid Apprenticeship

In ReSET Retail participants will learn:

  • Stocking and merchandise organization
  • Point of Sale usage and handling money
  • Skill with and knowledge of ReUse Center merchandise such as building materials and computers and peripherals
  • Exemplary customer service and team work

ReSET Technology

ReSET Technology consists of an unpaid 10 week entry level program, 16 hours per week. Generally ReSET Tech is offered in the afternoons on four days a week, but schedule is subject to change.  Those who successfully complete the 10 week training are invited to apply for a competitive 15-week full time paid Apprenticeship. Trainings are offered repeatedly throughout the year.

In ReSET Tech, the technology track, participants will learn:

  • Various components inside a computer, their purposes and how they function
  • Testing, refurbishing, and troubleshooting computers and their components
  • Software and operating system installation
  • Introduction to topics presented by community professionals such as Computer Networking and Security
  • Finger Lakes ReUse is a Comp TIA Authorized Academy Program partner. The ReSET Tech curriculum follows the objectives of the Comp TIA IT Fundamentals certification exam. Participants who complete the ReSET Tech program may be eligible for a discounted rate for Comp TIA Exams.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kind of job can I get after I participate in the ReSET tech job training program? This depends on the kind of experience or schooling a participant has already had coming into the program. Trainees with experience, certifications and/or degrees in the computer sciences use the ReSET tech program as a stepping stone towards getting an entry level IT position. Trainees who have had very little experience or training, will not likely be able to immediately get a position in the technology field. These trainees find that the ReSET tech program is a great foundation and start for them to go on and obtain certifications and/or higher education in the computer sciences. We recommend trainees pursue the Comp TIA IT Fundamentals certification as a starting place to build their skill portfolio.

2. Is this program like a class or an internship? It's a little bit of both, but the emphasis is on Job Training. The ReSET program seeks to give trainees an on-the-job-like experience and prepare them for aspects of the workplace. We are also able to offer this program for free because we need your help processing donated materials. About 30% of the program time contains classroom style instruction, but the remainder of the time is work ranging from complex tasks like refurbishing a server to simple tasks like testing that a keyboard is fully functioning. Along the way participants are learning skills, demonstrating their work preparedness and helping serve their community by keeping electronics out of the landfill. Participants are expected to behave and commit to their responsibilities as if they were in a work place. In return we will gladly act as a reference or write letters of recommendations for any participant who completed in good standing.

3. I would need a lot of support because I know very little about computers and/or I have a learning disability, would this program be right for me? The ReSET Tech program requires that trainees have a basic comfort level navigating a computer, such as browsing the Internet and checking email. Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to provide constant one-on-one support. Any individual that would require that level of support, would need to bring a training coach with them to help them during their learning process.

4. Will I learn skills like website building or graphic design or software programming? Generally no, the majority of the ReSET tech program is focused on hardware refurbishing and repair, operating system installation and configuration, and basic troubleshooting. Trainees will be given very basic introductions to different topics outside of this such as HTML and software programming.

5. Will I be able to repair my own computer during training hours? Trainees frequently take what they learn to repair their own computer at home, however trainees are allowed to bring in their own computers to do some basic repairs in the last week or two depending on scheduling.

6. Certain restrictions in my life (such as bus schedule, job, childcare etc.) make it hard for me to be there from exactly,12:30pm to 4:30pm. Do I have to be able to attend during that time? Generally yes. All attendees are expected to be present during the sessions starting at 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM. Occasional exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis.

7. How often can I be absent from the ReSET Tech sessions? Attendees are allowed three absences. After this point they are required to make up for lost time, outside of the set schedule.

8. I am not able to sit and/or stand for long periods, what are the physical requirements of the training sessions? The vast majority of the time is spent sitting however adaptations can be made for trainees who need a standing workstation. Some standing may be required but adaptations can be made for trainees who require sitting.


Interested applicants (or those who wish to be added to our waiting list) must to fill out our online application form through our website or may make an appointment with Anise Hotchkiss at (607) 257-9699 to fill out an application online at any of our stores.

ReSET Program Application Form

Opportunities for Employers

Collaboration with local customer service, technology, and construction related businesses will do a great deal to ensure the success of the ReSET program. Businesses and agencies interested in getting involved with the ReSET programs may contact our Community Programs Coordinator.

Partners and Supporters

ReSET would not be possible without the support of the community. Many thanks to the following employers, human service organizations, government agencies, and foundations for their support:

ASI Renovations
Brightworks Computer Consulting
Cayuga Medical Associates
Challenge Workforce Solutions
City Federation of Women’s Organizations
The Collective Impact Fund of the Community Foundation
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County
Cornell University IT Services
Cosentini Construction
Databound Solutions
Double Dog Timberworks
EcoVillage of Ithaca
The Erin Aljoe Schlather Dedicated Memorial Fund of the Community Foundation
Habitat for Humanity
Helen Thomas Howland Foundation, as administered by the Community Foundation
Holt Architects
Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency
The Kathy Yoselson Fierce Determination Fund of the Community Foundation
The Lane Family Fund of the Community Foundation
New Earth Living
Park Foundation
Snug Planet
Social Service League
Southside Community Center
Sunnybrook Builders
Taitem Engineering
Tompkins County Dept of Social Services
 Tompkins County Solid Waste
Tompkins Workforce New York
Triad Foundation
Tugleywood Timberframing
United Way of Tompkins County Youth & Philanthropy Fund
Women’s Opportunity Center