The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development (LWD) was honored with a 2019 Library Champion Award from the New Jersey Libary Association (NJLA), during the annual NJLA Conference awards ceremony which took place on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at Harrah’s, in Atlantic City, NJ. This award is given annually in recognition of an exceptional contribution to a New Jersey library, group of libraries, or to a New Jersey Library community. The State Library nominated LWD for the award, based on a long-standing partnership to provide workforce and literacy training across the state through NJ public libraries.
Dr. Danielle Jubanyik, New Jersey State Director for Adult Education & Literacy Services, received the award and made remarks during the conference.
In December 2015, LWD began working with the State Library to enhance career guidance and job search assistance at public libraries throughout the state. Nineteen libraries, including the New Jersey State Library, received New Jersey Libraries Career Connections Grants for Uniform Career Guidance and Job Search Assistance Services, which were included in LWD’s investment of $2.5 million in libraries. Grantee libraries serve as access points for workforce services, distribute job search information, and assist job seekers in using the Career Connections digital platform.
In addition to the Career Connections program, the partnership between the State Library and LWD offered another avenue to assist New Jersey residents with adult literacy training, which is important for improving the long-term prospects of low-skilled, low-wage workers in New Jersey. Since 2016, the Adult Literacy and Community Library Partnership Pilot Program (ALCLP) has awarded grants to public libraries to help provide literacy training to unemployed and underemployed individuals, including comprehensive training on adult basic education and/or English Language proficiency skills, in partnerships with New Jersey’s federal WIOA Title II adult literacy instructional service providers. Leveraging the resources that are already in place at local libraries, all the training efforts funded through the ALCLP have contributed to great employability opportunities and career advancement for New Jersey residents in need of jobs as well as those in low-wage, lower-skilled occupations.