One of the biggest effects of the COVID-19 crisis has been a major unemployment crisis over the last few months. While unemployment figures have decreased from their peak earlier this year as businesses have begun to reopen, they remain significantly higher than they were at the start of this year. This can make the already potentially daunting task of finding a job even more intimidating.
Neuse Regional Libraries remain a significant resource for those searching for new employment. Our free public access computers and Wi-Fi empower those who do not have these resources at home to conduct their job search. More and more businesses and organizations are moving exclusively to an online application process, so internet access is essential to applying for a job or using online tools to search for the best local opportunities.
We remain grateful for our partnership with Lenoir Community College, who are onsite at the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library regularly to offer a Career Ready Lab. Currently this lab is being offered every afternoon Monday through Thursday of each week from 1 p.m. to 5p.m. in the Library’s computer lab. Now in its second year, the Career Ready Lab assists with resumes, job applications, job searches, computer basics, the Career Readiness Certificate, and more. By offering the lab at the Library, LCC has been able to reach many participants who don’t have transportation options to reach the College, and has also increased awareness of these services with those who visit the Library to search for jobs.
Eugene Murray continues to provide one-on-one instruction, using the knowledge he gained from his years as a Human Resources manager for MasterBrand in Kinston to help job seekers with the development of basic skills while also imparting advice on soft skills that can only come from extensive experience with real-life situations. Eugene and library staff take precautions to provide participants with a safe environment during the continuing COVID pandemic, allowing this service to continue during this critical time. Eugene does a fantastic job of preparing his students for the workforce, and the friendly, open style he uses to teach helps lessen the intimidation factor that can be a major obstacle on the road to a new job.
We have heard firsthand success stories from our users about how they have been able to use the Library’s computers to complete continuing education, apply for jobs, and complete online training for new positions. The Library offers additional online career prep services through NC LIVE, a statewide consortium that provides access to digital services to all library cardholders. To see what digital resources are available, visit www.nclive.org and click on “Career Development.”
With LCC’s assistance, we have been able to greatly increase the level of onsite job preparation services offered. If you are currently at any step of the job search process, please find a weekday afternoon you can visit us and benefit from Eugene’s knowledge and experience. This service is open and free to all and if you are finding the job search process a struggle during these difficult times, it may be just the help you need.
For more information on Library services, please call 252-527-7066, Ext. 134, and for more information about LCC’s Career Ready services, please call Josephine Wallace-Koonce at 252-627-6223, Ext. 138.