By Kim Martin
Libraries as Workforce Development Partners
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, which became effective July 2015, identifies public libraries as potential partners of the American Job Center network and acknowledges the ability of libraries to provide an expansive array of job search services. Increased funding for career-related resources are available from the act. Additionally, the new law recognizes libraries as important providers of federally supported programs in adult education and literacy. These types of resources can increase training and employment possibilities for patrons.
As a hub in your community for education and career development, your library can help build talent and create a more knowledgeable, productive, and valuable workforce with online learning resources such as Gale Courses, Testing and Education Reference Center, Career Transitions, and Gale eBooks on GVRL.
No matter what career stage people are in—entry level employee to seasoned professional—job skills need to be refreshed regularly to keep pace with new software releases and evolving management techniques.
Online learning resources like Gale Courses support libraries as educational institutions and give community members easy access to job-related training. Instruction is available anytime and anywhere, and through a variety of devices—perfect for busy lifestyles and different ways of learning. By offering career-focused education, libraries can foster local economic development by addressing the top workplace skills desired by employers.
Gale Courses provide more than 375 six-week long, online programs. All classes are led by qualified college instructors and cover a variety of topics, including professional development, technology, and personal enrichment. Gale Courses is well-suited for people who prefer a more structured learning environment and engagement with fellow students and instructor. Lessons are assigned twice a week and often feature text, video, interactive games, and images. New courses begin each month.
Testing & Education Reference Center (TERC) is a valuable online tool for career development. It includes standardized tests to help users map interests and aptitudes to the most suitable job categories, industries, and occupations. The Résumé Builder and Virtual Careers Library tools help adults and students build essential career skills—like how to build a résumé, cover letter, and interviewing tips for users at all career stages.
Career Transitions assists users with career exploration and offers a complete, personalized and guided experience from assessing strengths and interests, to finding new career opportunities, to ultimately completing professional resumes and improving the chances of landing jobs.
Gale eBooks on GVRL deliver unlimited, simultaneous access to content that fosters skill development, helps with career exploration, professional certification test-prep and more. Plus, Gale’s integration with Google Apps for Education tools like Drive and Docs, and Microsoft Office 365 tools such as OneDrive and One Note allow users to easily share, save and download content anytime, anywhere. Check out eBook titles especially for the job seeker.
For those interested in enhancing skills for job opportunities or simply improving their performance, libraries can serve as a hub for management, business, and technology training.
The following groups can benefit from libraries’ job-readiness and “upskilling” programs:
- Job seekers
- Budding entrepreneurs
- Those looking to advance in their career