Monday, December 29, 2008

Accessing key resources during economic hard times

Economic woes, and job layoffs are finding Mainers turning to a versatile resource for help—their local public library.

For those without computers, libraries help bridge the technological/digital divide that exists in Maine, and other states, nationwide. Given that more and more job and career resources are available online, not having access to technology can be a dealbreaker for anyone looking to put together a resume, scour state job boards, or other sites, as well as file unemployment claims.

Sharon Kiley Mach has an article in this morning's Bangor Daily News highlighting this increase in library use across the state.

Like local libraries, Maine’s CareerCenters fill an important niche for job seekers, those laid off, and folks needing assistance with transitioning into new employment, or accessing various state services affiliated with the loss of employment, like filing unemployment claims.

Each of the state’s CareerCenters have computers with internet access available to the general public, as well as staff that can assist job seekers with information, as well as workshops on updating a resume, interviewing skills, career exploration as well as strategies for upgrading work skills, and programs like WorkReady.

As I wrote about earlier in the month, technology and workforce go hand in hand. Computer literacy, or the lack thereof, only compounds the problems of those that are out of work. Fortunately, in our area (Lewiston-Auburn), groups like DEC recognize the issue and along with other resources, are stepping up and making a difference, through their Digital Divide Project.

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