Governor’s Executive Workforce Board Highlights Public Library Initiatives

GEWB meeting photo

Karl Colon, Director, Greene County Public Library, shares examples of workforce development services and programs available at the library.

At the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board meeting on June 12, representatives of public library systems around the state shared specific initiatives that have succeeded in their communities including job training and small business programs and services. Held at the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, much of the meeting focused on ways that public libraries are boosting Ohio’s workforce. Debbie Saunders, Director, Samuel L. Bossard Memorial Library in Gallia County, and a member of the board, offered opening remarks on how she’s seen libraries turn into community hubs where people can learn how to operate changing technology and use the internet, particularly while seeking employment.

In Greene County, the public library tapped into the area’s engineering background through its “Spark Place,” which Director Karl Colon said includes lasers, 3-D printers, soldering stations, and other technology that patrons can utilize. Patrick Losinski, CEO, Columbus Metropolitan Library, explained how the library’s 22 locations throughout central Ohio are a place for learning and job training. Library staff assist adults with basic computer training, resume instruction, education and language attainment and small business support. Avon Lake’s City Economic Development Director Ted Esborn said that the Avon Lake Public Library has become an “indispensable” part of the economic development team in the region. The library partnered with local agencies to create the Scratchmade Incubator, which supports small business development.
OLC would like to thank each of these library systems for sharing their stories and demonstrating the potential of today’s public libraries. In addition, the meeting was broadcast live on OLC’s Facebook page.
PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)