Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh today announced a partnership between public libraries and the City’s Workforce1 Career Centers and the opening of the two newest Workforce1 Centers, in Long Island City and on Staten Island. Workforce1 Career Centers have also opened in the Queens Library in Flushing, the Brooklyn Public Library Sunset Park branch, and one will open in the New York Public Library in the Bronx in 2012, marking a partnership with all three public library systems. The three public library Centers have placed New Yorkers in more than 500 jobs since launching this fall. In addition to housing Workforce1 Expansion Centers, the Brooklyn Public Library locations have also worked with Workforce1 to train librarians on how to better assist jobseekers. Delivered by the Workforce Professionals Training Institute, the training provided librarians with skills to help serve branch customers seeking employment. These skills included job readiness services, job search strategies, and the latest labor market trends in New York City. The Mayor was also joined by Brooklyn Public Library Board Chairman and Counselor to the Mayor Anthony W. Crowell, Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Council Member Stephen Levin.
"Libraries have always served as gateways to opportunity, so they make great locations for our career counseling and job placement services," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Last year, Workforce 1 Centers connected New Yorkers to 35,000 jobs, and this year, we’ll do even more to make sure that people who are looking for jobs can get help they need to learn new skills and find real opportunities."
"New York City’s economy is continuing to bounce back from the recession, but there are still too many New Yorkers who are struggling to find job opportunities," Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said. "By co-locating new Workforce 1 Express Centers at public libraries, the Bloomberg Administration is doing everything we can to make it easier for New Yorkers to find jobs as the economy continues to expand."
"More and more people are turning to public libraries to use their resources to find jobs and start businesses," said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. "The partnership between Workforce1 and New York City’s public libraries will allow us to help even more New Yorkers looking for jobs in 2012."
"The Workforce1 Expansion Centers at Central Library and Sunset Park Library have given us a wonderful opportunity to expand upon the services we offer to Brooklynites who are job searching," said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. "In the past, the Library has been an important resource for one-on-one job readiness help, resume writing and interviewing skills workshops, and print and electronic career resources. Now, in addition to these services, patrons can meet with Workforce1 representatives to receive valuable job placement assistance. For the first time ever, we offer the full spectrum of employment resources, from literacy classes to recruitment services, all under one roof. This is a groundbreaking collaboration between the Library and the City and we are confident it will result in thousands of Brooklynites getting back to work and starting fulfilling careers."
"Libraries more than ever are proving their importance to New Yorkers by moving beyond traditional notions of service," said Chairman Crowell. "By co-locating Workforce1 Centers in our libraries, we are empowering New Yorkers who are seeking jobs by providing them with comprehensive employment readiness services – from resume-writing workshops to counseling to skill-building services – and the chance to be connected with real opportunities in the workforce – all in one location. This is one of many new ways in which our public libraries will serve as vital community spaces relevant to the demands of the day. We are excited that we have been able to scale this model in all three public library systems."
"The New York Public Library is already an enthusiastic community partner with the Workforce 1 Career Center system, and is excited to expand our role," said NYPL President Anthony Marx. "The new Bronx center will join our already-existing and successful job search programs to highlight the Library's dedication to helping New Yorkers find the jobs they need. It is a key part of our overall mission to strengthen communities and give opportunities to those who need them most."
"Queens Library is pleased to expand our resources for job seekers through this partnership with the New York City Department of Small Business Services," said Thomas Galante, President and CEO of Queens Library. "Our collaboration with Workforce 1, which began in Jamaica in 2001, has helped connect over 25,000 Queens residents each year with the tools and information they need to enter the workforce and enrich their lives. This new program will more than double the number of people we can reach with these critical resources."
"Like everywhere else in the country, Brooklyn is feeling the effects of this economic downturn," said Borough President Markowitz. "To put it simply, jobs remain ‘job one.’ And that’s why the full range of services—from employment postings to workshops to job fairs—available to job seekers at Workforce1 are so critical. Kudos to Mayor Bloomberg, Small Business Services Commissioner Walsh, and Brooklyn Public Library and its president and CEO Linda Johnson and board chair Anthony Crowell for helping to turn a job interview into a job offer—and for being such a vital part of the engine that keeps our Brooklyn economy running."
"I applaud Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Walsh, as well as the leadership of all three public library systems, for creating new partnerships that will help put more New Yorkers back to work," said Council Member Steve Levin. "Combining the great resources of our public library systems with the expertise of Workforce1 Centers will ensure that all residents have all of the tools they need to re-enter the workforce."
"A Workforce1 Center in the Brooklyn Public Library central branch will provide the extra resources needed to help our community residents with job placements and necessary back to work support," said Council Member Leticia James. "I’d like to thank Mayor Bloomberg, Small Business Services Commissioner Rob Walsh, Brooklyn Public Library President CEO Linda E. Johnson and Brooklyn Public Library Board chairman Anthony W. Crowell for bringing a Workforce1 Career Center to the Brooklyn Central Library."
"We thank Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Walsh for their continued commitment to help New Yorkers find career opportunities in today’s job market," said Dale Grant, President of Grant Associates. "Their insight on how to best develop the City’s workforce programs has allowed our company to provide training, educational opportunities and job placement services to thousands of people, including low-income individuals and dislocated workers."
Workforce1 Centers were launched the start of the Bloomberg Administration. And with the opening of three Workforce 1 Centers in libraries, the Administration has now launched a total of 15 centers in all five boroughs. Ten of them have opened since last July. Of these 10, two are sector based – one in Long Island City and the other in Jamaica, Queens – and they’re focused on connecting job seekers to careers in the health care, transportation, and industrial sectors. Up until 2004, Workforce1 Centers were placing about 500 New Yorkers in jobs a year – before they were completely revamped to offer training in the skills that companies are looking for and better connect the supply of labor to the demand for labor. In December 2010, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the City would open 10 new Workforce One Express Centers across the City over the next 12 months. Cities across the country have expressed interest in New York City's approach, and the federal government funded the replication of the City’s approach in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and parts of Ohio.
Workforce1 Career Centers offer one-on-one appointments with jobseekers to review their resume, screen for jobs, and match candidates with available jobs. These Centers also have a resource area where New Yorkers can search and apply for jobs, and conference areas for skill building workshops. New Centers opened last week in Long Island City and Staten Island, and two more Centers are set to open in 2012, which will make a total of 17 Workforce1 Centers offering free services to New Yorkers looking for jobs.
Several resources are available to New Yorkers looking for jobs. Visit www.nyc.gov for a list of Workforce1 Career Center locations throughout the City, and to sign up for the Workforce1 Career Bulletin, a weekly email featuring the latest job openings available through the centers. New Yorkers can also find valuable resources online through the Workforce1 Career Blog, and by following Workforce1 on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.