Letcher County residents seeking employment now have more computer access, training and job workshops at the new Public Library Workforce Center (PLWC). The Harry M. Caudill Memorial Library in Whitesburg is one of 46 public libraries in the state to become a PLWC.
The centers house computers and software that will be used to provide training to Kentucky residents seeking employment.
“ The Letcher County Public Libraries have for the past years presented basic computer classes and library databases to our community,” said Library Director Lina Tidal.
“We had success with these classes, however there is a high demand for more classes, especially for job seekers. We are fortunate to have received this grant to become a Public Library Workforce Center. By being a center, we will be able to expand and offer more classes for our citizens for the next two years. I hope that these classes will help our community members find jobs, learn and sharpen their computer skills, which are very necessary at this time of competitive employment environment and tough economic times,” said Tidal.
To create its PLWC, the Caudill Library installed 10 laptop computers with funds from a Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant. All of the computers have Office 2010. The library has also purchased a digital media projector and a projector screen to facilitate teaching classes of up to eight participants. Additionally, the library purchased a large key keyboard, a 22-inch monitor, a trackball mouse and Zoom Text with speech capability software so individuals with disabilities can participate in workshops. The library spent more than $14,000 in grant funds to purchase the equipment and software.
The library will offer monthly in-house workshops for county residents who are either seeking employment or looking for a better job. Topics covered will include email, Internet job searches, resume/ interviewing skills and Microsoft Excel and Word.
The library will partner with the Adult Education Center and the Hazard Technical College Career Center. Classes on resume writing will start on Oct. 5 at 9 a.m. at the library. Enrollment is limited to 10 students and is free. Reservations and more information are available at (606) 633-7547 or by visiting www.lcld.org.
The centers are funded by a $1.3 million American Reinvestment and Recovery Act Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant provided through the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The project is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives. The grant targets counties with high unemployment.