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Reading, writing, and resumes: Carnegie Library and PA CareerLink partner to deliver menu of career services

PA CareerLink® Pittsburgh/Allegheny County and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh have partnered to bring job placement and career services to people visiting two of the library’s Pittsburgh locations. Brokered by Partner4Work, this partnership add a new layer of service for library patrons at the Smithfield Street and Allegheny Northside locations.

"Patrons can receive full CareerLink services including career counseling that comes with that, the resume help, applying to jobs, connecting with employers,” said Wes Roberts, library services manager of workforce and economic development. "(The library) has a focus on workforce and economic development and connecting the public to jobs. It made sense for us to expand services in that area by bringing in the official groups that provide these types of services in our buildings.”

Casting a wide net to be sure job seekers have access to services regardless of zip code continues to be a priority for Partner4Work and CareerLink. Other examples of this effort includes delivering career services and marrying the business outreach efforts of CareerLink with the Energy Innovation Center, Goodwill of Southwestern PA and the Northside Northshore Chamber of Commerce. CareerLink  also will set up shop in the Braddock Carnegie Library on March 1, prepared to help library patrons find jobs.

The stage is set for success. Since its beginning in August 2016, the partnership between CareerLink and the Carnegie libraries has yielded results.

“Job seekers are seeing the benefit of registering with CareerLink and have communicated their success through testimonials and new job seeker referrals,” said Sonya S. Gant, project director, United Labor Agency/PA CareerLink® Pittsburgh/Allegheny County.

Why bring career services to a library?

“The library’s mission is to engage the community in literacy and learning. That covers everything from reading to looking for work,” Roberts said. “Because the library is such a central place to receive computer training, to gain access to computers, it’s often the first place people come in their job search. It’s a natural fit.”

Adding a more robust workforce development component - giving patrons access to career counselors, connecting with employers, help with resumes and more - provides a more holistic experience for the job seeker. 

The partnership helped CareerLink broaden its reach beyond its walls on Wood Street, Downtown, in Forest Hills, and its affiliate center at Goodwill in Lawrenceville. By branching out into communities and libraries, CareerLink staff can reach job seekers who might not be willing or able to visit a CareerLink office.

"We saw a need to assist and connect job seekers, as well as passive job seekers  with recruitment services, career training and current education programs by meeting them where they are instead of at a specific brick and mortar location.

“The library serves as a wonderful place to implement a mobile presence that assists job seekers by thinking outside the box and meeting them where they are," Gant said.

More importantly, the partnership is working.

“We’ve had all sorts of people who have gotten jobs in unique ways," Roberts said. "The library provides 3D printing services, and we’ve even done some training on 3D printing. I helped a woman get placed in a job as a 3D printing consultant with a local company.

"That felt like a huge success for me.”