California State Library’s $ 4.3 million American Rescue Plan Act grant invests in future state workforce
November 23, 2021 – Sacramento, California – To help Californians prepare for and find the jobs they seek in the post-COVID economy, the California State Library presents a set of online tools funded by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), available through local libraries, which offer job training, skills building, test preparation and professional development.
These services, called Career Pathways [https://www.library.ca.gov/services/to-public/career-pathways/], come from some of the best online learning companies and are available either at the public library or at home. Access to these platforms, which are in multiple languages, normally comes with a subscription and other fees. Now, for at least a year, they have all been available free to any California library user.
âThese are valuable resources for all Californians – and a good investment of taxpayer dollars,â said Greg Lucas, California State Librarian. âDuring the pandemic, Californians entered their local libraries through the digital rather than the physical front door. These skill improvement and self improvement platforms are exactly the sort of thing they should find in their public libraries.
Almost $ 4.4 million in ARPA’s one-time federal emergency COVID funding was used with state library grantee, Pacific Library Partnership, to invest in a year of subscriptions to a subset of CAreer Pathways platforms. The American Rescue Plan Act funding is intended to alleviate the pandemic and resume workforce development and retraining. Additional funds will be needed to continue the program.
Thanks to this ARPA funding, CAReer Pathways now offers free access to Coursera [https://www.coursera.org/], GetSetUp [https://www.getsetup.io/], Express Learning [https://www.learningexpresshub.com/], LinkedIn training [https://www.linkedin.com/learning], Northstar Digital Literacy [https://www.digitalliteracyassessment.org/], and sharing of skills [https://www.skillshare.com/]. As an example of the value of these services, the annual cost of subscriptions to access all of Coursera’s over 5,000 online courses, Skillshare’s 35,000 videos, GetSetUp interactive courses and the course suite. of LinkedIn Learning would cost an individual over $ 1,000 per year.
As part of Parcours CarriÃ¨re [https://www.library.ca.gov/services/to-public/career-pathways/], the state library already offers resources such as Brainfuse’s JobNow / VetNow and Career Online High School. Many public libraries offer scholarships to Career Online High School, a program that allows Californians to earn a high school diploma online. To date, more than 2,343 Californians have graduated from the program.
While the various platforms are designed to appeal to the widest range of Californians possible, State Librarian Greg Lucas said, âWe know that these unemployed or underemployed Californians are disproportionately women, people of color. , young people and people without a university degree. A key factor in making these services available online is to help women return to work who left the workforce during the pandemic. ”
These resources [https://www.library.ca.gov/services/to-public/career-pathways/], available free to California Public Library cardholders, are another means by which libraries contribute to personal economic development, create and foster lifelong learning communities, increase digital equity, and respond to the information needs of a 21st century society.
These projects were made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the main source of federal support for libraries and museums across the country. IMLS advances, supports, and empowers museums, libraries, and related organizations across the United States through grantmaking, research, and policy development.
About the State Library: Founded in 1850, the California State Library has an extensive collection of artwork, books, diaries, maps, newspapers, periodicals, photographs, and posters from California’s rich history. The State Library is also the clearinghouse for the State of California government and holds federal and state publications. . State Library website
About the Pacific Library Partnership: The Pacific Library Partnership is a cooperative with 42 public and academic library jurisdictions, spanning the eight counties of the San Francisco Bay Area. The goal of this regional system is to improve the services of its member libraries by leading research and development efforts to ensure that libraries are best positioned to respond to demographic, economic and cultural changes through innovative approaches. and collaborative programming and services and improving the constitution and sharing of collective resources. More information can be found at http://www.plpinfo.org
Source: CA. State library