The North Bergen Public Library has been awarded a $92,405 state grant to build its career services programs and enhance residents’ chances of gaining employment, Library Director Sai Rao said. Rao said the grant will help the unemployed or underemployed who are looking to improve their basic career skills.
The grant is from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The department helps find jobs for the disabled and helps people apply for workers’ compensation, temporary disability, and more.
Besides helping people with their job skills, the library will also provide basic job search help. The library is planning workshops that outline the job-search process, according to Rao.
Programs will include guest speakers, job fairs, a Career Connections laptop station, mock interviews, and basic guidance in resume and cover-letter writing. The services are expected to be provided in both English and Spanish. Rao said a Career Connections laptop station is a software for mock interviews to build job seeking skills. “These work stations will be dedicated to job search,” Rao said.
“The goal is to double up the job-skills,” Rao said in an interview. “Resume writing is built in the software, and we’ll print it for them too.”
The library staff will help teach the programs. One of the staff members, Chelsea Neary, wrote the grant with Rao as a mentoring process.
The library applied for the grant in March to provide job search assistant for residents. The library first received a grant of around $48,000, but then reapplied, Rao said.
Take the computers out of the library
“What we’re doing with additional funds is creating additional mobile labs,” she said. “Laptops can be locked into carts and can be taken to different parts of town. We’ve already set up plans for the Housing Authority to teach them areas like Microsoft Office.”
Rao added, “The library has already done computer teaching and job search help, but this will enhance our services. We bought the hardware, software, and digital platform.”
The NJ Labor and Workforce Department has been training the staff in Trenton to use the digital platform.
Rao said they are preparing the laptops this week. Residents should contact the library 201-869-4751 if they are interested in making an appointment.