South Carolina’s unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country, but Midlands’ residents can access a variety of free resources on finding employment at the new Job Center at the Richland County Public Library, thanks to a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The Job Center features:
- Free classes and personalized service on resume writing, interviewing and job searching.
- Online resources on starting a business, looking for a job and employer information.
- Copy Center (copier, printer, scanner and local fax)
The $438,000 grant also allowed RCPL to expand access to computers at all locations by 106 percent. RCPL’s Eastover Branch, which is normally closed on Tuesdays, is now open from 4-8 p.m. for “Tech Tuesdays” to provide computer training and support.
Over the past two years, the library’s 11 branches have experienced a 30 percent increase in use, with many residents turning to the library for the critical information they need for job searches, resume preparation and unemployment services.
“There’s no doubt that libraries are critical resources for those looking for work, whether they need access to technology or instruction on creating e-mail accounts and resumes,” said Melanie Huggins, executive director, Richland County Public Library. “Library staff are knowledgeable and can assist job seekers in numerous ways—but only if there is enough technology available. This grant will allow our libraries to meet a dire need, helping residents provide for themselves and their families and making the community stronger.”
AARP South Carolina will be working with the RCPL Job Center to provide speakers and materials appropriate for older workers who are looking for jobs and career assistance. “Older workers who are looking for employment will benefit greatly from the Job Center,” said AARP state director Jane Wiley.
RCPL also offers a variety of resources to assist library users in their search for employment online. RCPL launched the Virtual Career Resources Web page to allow users to research occupations, create professional resumes, learn interviewing skills and search current job listings in your library’s online employment center. Visit www.myRCPL.com.