Jun-10-16 Christie Administration Partners with Libraries to Expand Job Search Assistance
$1.4 Million Granted to Libraries to Provide Career Guidance throughout the State
TRENTON, N.J., June 10, 2016 – The Christie Administration today announced the investment of nearly $1.4 million to provide uniform career guidance and job search assistance services at libraries throughout the state. The New Jersey Libraries Career Connections Grant for Uniform Career Guidance and Job Search Assistance Services, administered by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, will provide training and support to staff at 18 New Jersey libraries to effectively assist residents in their community.
“Our partnership with New Jersey’s libraries will allow us to expand our footprint to reach an even larger number of job seekers,” said Commissioner Harold J. Wirths of the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “This initiative will help us meet the needs of local communities by utilizing and expanding the resources already in place at libraries to provide a direct link to our services.”
The initiative was recently applauded by the U.S. Department of Labor for its innovative approach promoting collaboration between the public workforce system and public libraries. Grantees will designate staff members who will be trained in the various workforce services offered by the state Department of Labor and local partners and will be able to refer individuals who are in need of more intensive reemployment services to a local One-Stop Career Center. Additionally, the New Jersey State Library was awarded a $250,000 grant to help implement the initiative at the local libraries.
“The New Jersey State Library is pleased to partner in this effort with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. We view this initiative as another positive step towards the economic recovery of the state,” said State Librarian Mary Chute. “This investment in the capacity of local libraries not only furthers the Labor Department’s reach into the communities we serve, but in addition, the staff training, resources and support offered will continue to benefit communities beyond the duration of this grant project. This partnership demonstrates the Administration’s recognition of the strong role that libraries can play as community centers.”
Grants were awarded to ensure geographic distribution across the state, with an emphasis on communities with high levels of unemployment. The following libraries and library systems received grants: Newark, Paterson, North Bergen, Union, Roselle, Plainfield, New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Long Branch, Atlantic City, Salem, Monmouth County, Monmouth County – Eastern Branch, Gloucester County, Warren County, Ocean County and Cumberland County.
The Christie Administration is committed to building new and innovative partnerships to improve the state’s workforce. In April, Governor Chris Christie announced a $2.7 million investment to create “Talent Development Centers” at three New Jersey institutions of higher education to align workforce training and skills development with the needs of employers in the state’s key industries. Last month, the Christie Administration hosted a High Quality Partnership Summit, where more than 300 stakeholders from business, education and workforce development met to develop strategies for creating sustainable career pathways for the state’s workforce.
More information on New Jersey Libraries Career Connections Grant for Uniform Career Guidance and Job Search Assistance Services can be found here. A directory of One-Stop Career Centers is available here.
Judith Loane, Partner Engagement Manager, and Catherine Starghill, Executive Director of Workforce Operations and Business Services (seated), joined by staff from New Jersey Career Connections library grantees.