Leila Swisher, supervising Librarian
Livermore Public Library
Livermore labs laid off over 1200 workers, among other companies’ layoffs.
The library took a proactive stance, expecting that it would be a while before things got better. Classes, newsletters and programs didn’t seem to be enough, so they hired a full time career advisor as part of the Free2Succeed Job Center. Her true value lies in free 1 on 1 advising sessions: strategies, online applications, resume writing, etc. The center also holds monthly classes in creating online resumes and linked-in profiles, engages special speakers, holds mock interviews, and offers support groups.
Livermore hosts successful employer meet & greet nights, similar to a job fair – some programs had over 200 people and up to 14 businesses attending! The programs are open to everyone, not just cardholders, and the feedback so far is overwhelmingly positive.
Leila then showed an upbeat video showcasing the program and three of its successes.
Q- How will the counselor position be funded in future?
A- friends; funded for the next year. 30 hrs/wk
Q-How many companies at job fair?
A-up to 14 companies; local employers, staffing agencies, restaurants, etc.
Q-how does she help those w/ no computer skills
A-help, refers to computer labs
Q-What are the counselor’s qualifications?
A-She has a background in employment counseling; had to learn about libraries.
Q-are you getting parolees or other challenged people?
A-Not sure; but get all kinds of people.
A-Grant application was a bear; funding; number of people needing advising session – long wait list
A-press releases, web site; word of mouth
Q-how reaching businesses?
A-The job center manager sends out letters, attends meetings such as the chamber of commerce; taps former work connections