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One of the world’s most trusted ‘brands’ is perfect for one-stop workforce centers

  • Joanna
  • March 9, 2016

When Congress passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, it called on the Department of Labor to establish a common “brand” for the one-stop career centers that must exist in every area of the country, helping connect workers and job seekers to the businesses that need them. But while it makes sense to seek better public recognition of this vital community resource, it’s also possible that these centers are already deeply tapped into one of the trusted brands in the history of the world…

… libraries.

More than 30 million people each year already use libraries for employment or career development, and another 32.5 million people use the free technological resources available at libraries to further their education goals. 96 percent of libraries offer online job and employment resources. 78 percent offer programs to help people apply for jobs. 72 percent offer programs to help people use online job resources.

Does that sound like a one-stop career center to you? The American Library Association certainly thinks so. It wants state and local workforce boards to consider libraries as partners and providers for training and education programs.

“Libraries exist in every city, town and community,” American Library Association director Emily Sheketoff and Chief Officers of State Library Agencies director Timothy Cherubini wrote in a joint letter to the U.S. secretaries of labor and education in the summer. 

Further, Sheketoff and Cherubini wrote, libraries “have a reliable infrastructure; and are proven to be efficient, effective and trusted.”

You simply can’t buy branding like that.