Department of Labor recommends Workforce Boards work with libraries

Monday afternoon I attended the Department of Labor’s Customer Centered Design Challenge, which is all about how groups are implementing new workforce programs. I started out sitting next to Teresa Hitchcock from Bakersfield, California. She was telling me that she reached out to Nancy Kerr, her local library director and they have created an exciting partnership.

Large letters spell out "Marker Space" on the side of two glass walls outside the Cincinnati Library Makerspace

Source: Cincinnati Library

Nancy said that she had some empty space created when she down-sized her microfisch, but didn’t have any money for staff. They created a vibrant Teen Space with Maker technology and the Kern Youth Partnership staffs the space. Now the space is filled with teens looking for work and entrepreneurial opportunities.

When others heard our conversation, they talked about looking for public space for their programs too. They would like to integrate their services with libraries. A woman from the San Diego Career Centers suggested that local librarians reach out to their local workforce board and ask to meet. The workforce people don’t know we’re here and are looking to partner.

The Department of Labor released a “Training and Employment Notice (TEN)” in May 2016 recommending to Workforce Boards that they work with their local library: Department of Labor Training and Employment Notice 35-15

About Emily Sheketoff

Emily Sheketoff is the former Associate Executive Director of the American Library Association's Washington Office.

Share your thoughts