FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2010
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Department of Labor Provides Guidance to Workforce Agencies on Partnering with Libraries
Washington, DC-On June 29, 2010, the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) officially encouraged its state and local workforce investment boards, state workforce agencies, and One-Stop Career Centers to partner with public libraries to extend their career and employment services to job seekers and unemployed workers. The ETA’s Training and Employment Notice (TEN) cements a partnership between the ETA and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) that was announced on June 25, 2010, at the American Library Association annual meeting.
“Thirty million people used library computers in 2009 to meet their workforce needs. Libraries offer Internet access, welcoming spaces, convenient hours and locations, and, most importantly, librarians to serve as information navigators,” said IMLS Acting Director Marsha L. Semmel. “The public workforce system offers a strong network of dedicated professionals with the resources and expertise to help job seekers. Our partnership at the federal level is an important catalyst to partnerships at the state and local level.” Read Marsha L. Semmel’s full remarks at http://www.imls.gov/news/speeches/062510.shtm
ETA Assistant Secretary Jane Oates said, “Permanent partnerships between public libraries and One-Stops are a long overdue effort at the federal level, although we are delighted that this is something that has been taking place informally across the country. These partnerships have been extremely useful and we hope they continue to strengthen and grow.”
The TEN provides examples of partnership activities including co-locating One-Stop Career Centers and libraries; collaborating to train library staff about in-person and virtual employment and training resources available through the public workforce system; and training public workforce system staff about the value of partnering with libraries.
While the IMLS-ETA partnership encourages library/One-Stop Center collaborations in states that haven’t yet made these connections, it seeks to strengthen alliances that already exist. Linda Strong, JobLink Unit manager with the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Workforce Development, and Mary Boone, the State Librarian of North Carolina, have worked closely to address employment issues. For example, they held nine, one-day workshops to connect public library staffs and people from the local job link centers to explore how they could work together to help people find jobs.
“People may not have heard about One-Stops, which breaks my heart, but they do know about libraries,” Strong said. “Some of the benefits that One-Stops derive from this partnership include longer library hours that allow access beyond One-Stop office hours, better and more technological access, and the fact that parents can work on their job search while children are engaging in productive activities. We consider libraries to be extensions of One-Stops in North Carolina.”
Sari Feldman, president of the Public Library Association, a division of ALA, and executive director of Cuyahoga County Public Library in Ohio, also has ample experience in partnering with a workforce agency. Since 2007, her library has offered Cuyahoga Works, a Web site with direct access to resources and assistance available to job seekers within Cuyahoga County that was developed in partnership with local Employment Connection Centers run by the City of Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Investment Board.
“This year, we’ve seen extraordinary growth in our career center counseling, programs, and job club offerings. As one customer put it, ‘The library was always my trusted friend and was there for me when I lost my job,’” Feldman said.
An estimated 3.7 million Americans have found work with support from their public libraries, said Semmel, citing a March 2010 study conducted by the University of Washington and sponsored by IMLS and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The report also found that:
* More than 77 million people over the age of 14 used a library computer last year.
* 30 million people used library computers to help address career and employment needs in the last 12 months.
* Among these users, 76 percent reported they searched for jobs online.
* Among job seekers, 68 percent went on to apply for a job or submit a resume.
* 23 percent used library computers to receive job-related training.
Other IMLS/ETA activities include sharing of career and training information and tools of the two systems and dissemination of information about workforce-library partnerships via webinars. ETA will host a webinar on July 19 to talk about the IMLS-ETA partnership at Workforce3One. On August 11 at 2 p.m., ETA staff will also participate in a webinar hosted by Project Compass, an initiative made possible by and IMLS grant to WebJunction. The webinar will provide an overview of the public workforce system and present the electronic tools most helpful to library staff that assist unemployed workers. For more information, please go to Helping Job Seekers: Using Electronic Tools and Federal Resources. For more about the IMLS grant, click here http://www.imls.gov/news/2009/091009.shtm. Visit the Public Libraries and the Workforce page on the IMLS Web site for additional resources at http://www.imls.gov/about/workforce.shtm.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration The Employment and Training Administration funds and supports a network of nearly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers that address the employment needs of job seekers and businesses in every community across America. One-Stop Career Centers draw from a vast array of community resources to make a multitude of services available to address employment challenges including job search and placement assistance; skills assessments; career assistance and counseling; free training services for eligible individuals; English as a second language; and assistance with Pell grants and student loans. To learn more, please visit www.workforce3one.org.
Columbus – As the first 100 days of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act conclude, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports it has awarded contracts for the first 17 transportation infrastructure projects in Ohio funded through the federal stimulus. This means construction companies will begin mobilizing workers for these jobs.
These first 17 projects — a combination of interstate, local roadway and bridge modernization projects — represent an estimated investment of $16.5 million in stimulus funds. The projects are:
Work on these projects could begin as early as next month. All companies awarded ODOT contracts funded by Recovery Act resources are required to post any new job opportunities at www.OhioMeansJobs.com, an online source to match job seekers with employment openings across the state.
In addition, five airport projects in Ohio are receiving $29.2 million in stimulus funds through the Federal Aviation Administration. These projects — at both commercial service and general aviation airports — include:
ODOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) continue to move infrastructure projects closer to the construction phase. To date, FHWA has authorized more than $159.8 million in stimulus investments, including strategic projects at Ohio’s water port and along its railroads. An additional $159.7 million in projects have been submitted for authorization by FHWA in the next several weeks.
Under ARRA requirements, ODOT must have authorized approximately $327.5 million of its $774 million stimulus allocation by June 29, 2009. The remaining amount must be authorized by March 1, 2010. States that meet these timeline requirements can compete for additional money lost by other states that fail to meet these deadlines.
A complete list of the transportation infrastructure projects prioritized for stimulus funding — with updates on projects which have been authorized by FHWA, contracts which have been awarded, and new employment opportunities — can be found online at www.dot.state.oh.us.
ODOT also continues to work with Ohio’s eight major Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) which were directly sub-allocated $161.5 million in transportation infrastructure stimulus funds. To date, FHWA has authorized $16.6 million in projects sponsored by the MPOs in Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown.
This year, ODOT embarked on the largest investment in Ohio’s transportation system in state history. Since the beginning of January, ODOT has awarded more than $711 million in construction/capital contracts. By the end of December, ODOT expects to invest a total of $1.9 billion in transportation construction.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Civilian Labor Force Estimates show unemployment rates have increased dramatically in most Ohio counties, with some rates above 15.0 percent. Many unemployed workers are turning to public libraries for job search resources and assistance. To help libraries prepare to meet this demand, the State Library of Ohio awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services LSTA grant to the Stark County District Library to conduct free workshops for librarians assisting community members to learn about and apply for jobs. The one-day sessions will include information for libraries about how to identify and target sectors seeking employment, develop community partnerships and sponsors, provide job and career workshops, explore job fairs, offer job and career services, seek marketing promotions, utilize library material resources, feature internet sources and evaluate feedback.
These free workshops are scheduled at eight public libraries around the state during the months of May and June 2009. Renee Williams, MLS, First Assistant Reference Services, Stark County District Library has developed the workshops and will train librarians to help community members who are coping with unemployment.
Libraries hosting the trainings include Warren Trumbull Co. Public Library (Warren), North Ridgeville Branch, Lorain Public Library System (North Ridgeville), Grove City Library, Southwest Public Libraries (Grove City), Wilmington Public Library of Clinton County (Wilmington), Crestline Public Library (Crestline), North Baltimore Public Library (North Baltimore) and two new sites at Waverly Library Garnet A. Wilson Public Library of Pike County, (Waverly), and the Maple Heights Branch, Cuyahoga County Public Library (Maple Heights). For more information and to register for the workshops, go to the WebJunction Ohio Calendar of Training and Events.