Monday, April 4, 2011

Project Compass: Libraries Lead the Workforce for the 21st Century Workforce Recovery Training

What is Project Compass?

Libraries are playing a leading role in developing the workforce of the 21st century. Project Compass is a nationwide effort to support public libraries as they strive to meet the urgent and growing needs of the unemployed and underemployed.

This program will help public library staff increase their knowledge of available resources and handle the service needs of unemployed and job-seeking patrons. In an economy where more must be done with less, this program will also address how libraries can utilize existing resources and partnerships.
The goal of Project Compass is to support the workforce recovery efforts of libraries, particularly in counties with high unemployment. The program will introduce library staff to programs and services which they can deliver to job-seekers in their communities. 

Project Compass is brought to Florida public libraries by the Division of Library and Information Services, in conjunction with WebJunction/OCLC, as part of a grant funded by the Institute of Museum of Library Services.

What are the program requirements?
Participants will attend a face-to-face training session that covers job-seeker information, personal financial skills, and resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs. At the session, participants will exchange ideas, information, and resources. They will then share this information with their colleagues and library administration.
Participants are required to take part in four evaluations:  a pre-workshop assessment, follow-up assessments three weeks and then three months after the workshop, and a final evaluation upon completion of Project Compass.  
Participants will identify and implement at least one workforce recovery activity in their local communities by October 2011. Participants must also participate in an online follow-up session in July 2011 to discuss their progress on their workforce recovery activities.

Who is the presenter?
Linda Bruno has worked extensively with library groups in the areas of personal and professional development. Linda is a member of the training team for Marion County’s Retooling and Refueling project, a monthly collaboration between the College of Central Florida and Workforce Connection. As part of the program, which was developed specifically to help the area’s unemployed, participants are encouraged to refresh their job-search skills by creating attention-getting resumes and sharpening their interviewing skills. 

When is the training?
The face-to-face training sessions will be held in the following cities: 

What’s in it for me?
Participants will understand the needs of job-seekers in their communities and how to better serve those needs. They will receive a full day of training and have the opportunity to network with colleagues and discuss workforce recovery issues. Training materials, lunch and breaks will be provided for all registered participants.

Who is eligible to attend?
All Florida library staff members are invited to participate in the program. Library staff from public libraries in counties with high unemployment will have their travel subsidized through an IMLS grant. Registration is free, but space in each location is limited. Every effort will be made to accommodate all interested participants. Participants will receive confirmation two weeks prior to the session. 

Who is eligible for travel reimbursement?
Staff from libraries in the 54 counties of high unemployment (those with a 14-month unemployment average of higher than 9.1% as designated by the Project Compass data analysis) will be eligible to receive up to $175 in travel reimbursement per person. Travel reimbursement will be based on current Florida state travel policy. Reimbursement forms will be distributed during the workshops and must be returned to the Division of Library and Information Services in a timely fashion.

The following 13 counties are NOT eligible for travel reimbursement but can attend the training:
Alachua, Franklin, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Monroe, Okaloosa, Union, Wakulla , Walton

How much does it cost to participate? 
Project Compass is a free program.  All Project Compass programs and materials are made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and provided by WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina.

How do I register?
Registration is available on 

Other questions?
Stephanie Race, Continuing Education Consultant, Division of Library and Information Services

Pam Thompson, E-Government Consultant, Division of Library and Information Services


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