Mayor announces library and employment services partnership

Having trouble finding a job? Maybe you should try asking your local librarian.

On February 21, Mayor Michael Bloomberg formally announced an existing partnership between Workforce1 Career Centers, which help New Yorkers find jobs, and public libraries, at a press conference held at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza.

At the start of our administration — if you remember back a long time ago – there was one Workforce1 Career Center, Bloomberg said. With the opening of two new centers last week and these three Workforce1 Centers and libraries, we have now launched a total of 15 centers in all five boroughs. Eight of them have been open since last July.

The mayor was joined at the press conference — which took place in the Workforce1 office within the Central Library — by Brooklyn Public Library Board Chair Anthony Crowell, Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda Johnson and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

It’s a real beautiful match for those that seek work, those that need assistance as well as the Brooklyn Public Library having the space available, Markowitz said. For all of us that are elected, the most important job is creating jobs.

The library employment outposts, known as Workforce1 Express Centers, offer a more personal approach, according to Bloomberg.

These centers, which include the three located in libraries, are smaller and designed to offer more one-on-one support for job seekers, he explained. They’re also tailored to help connect more New Yorkers to mid-level jobs.

Last year, Workforce1, which has an operating budget of $10 million a year, helped an estimated 35,000 city residents find jobs. Although the breakdown varies among locations, the Central Library office, for example, costs $1 million a year to run and connects 1,000 clients annually with employment.

The Sunset Park Library, 5108 Fourth Avenue, was one of the first libraries to receive a Workforce1 Career Center, back in October. The office assists between 40 and 50 job seekers a week. An appointment is advised, but walk-in service is available. For more information, or to set up an appointment, call 347-296-8063.

Although requests for comment from library staff were not returned at the time this article went to press, one local librarian – who spoke on condition of anonymity because of a rule barring press contact — feels the career center is a welcome addition to the library.

It’s something that is much needed in the community, she said. The economy is so bad and it’s a great service.

The two newest locations to receive centers are in Staten Island and Queens. The third Brooklyn location is at 9 Bond Street on the fifth floor.

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