Libraries As Partners in Workforce Development

Our resident experts are Todd Berndt of the Maricopa Workforce Connection and Christina Quijada of the Phoenix Workforce Connection. Victoria Sanchez is the community outreach.  Jo Passant gathers job listings and resources locally and statewide to send out to the community. Here is what they told us.


Veterans go to the head of the line.  They help them transition into the work force after military service.  Others may be long tern unemployed.  They aim to reduce crime and recidivism.  Job openings are sent to them first.


Access Points, AP, are located throughout the county by offering job search assistance in the community.  They publicize job search activities in the community.  Resumes are reviewed and developed.  Training is provided to the staff of the Access Points.  They partner with faith based and community based organizations.  Events and resources are publicized through the network of the Workforce Connections.  In depth career counseling is available also from the connections and Access Points.  Quarterly meetings are held with the Access Points and Workforce Connections focusing on a specific topic.  The last meeting was held at the National Guard to talk about helping veterans. 


Addtional human services are available on site or through referrals, such as clothing, food boxes, literacy training, GED classes, welfare benefits, pregnancy centers, job workshops, and mock interviews.  Access Points are mainly faith based and community organizations.  There is an exponential growth over the last two years.  In 2010 20 Access Points and the next year there were 32.  To date there are 41.  Over 34,000 visits have been made to Access Points.  Many people have been served.  Data is gathered on a monthly basis and reported to the Department of Labor. 


The partnership requirements are to have a space for a computer for a job hunter, a place to post job listings, and to have volunteers and staff to help.  The support offered by the Workforce Connection include a professional partnership with a non financial agreement. 


Job Help Hub are like the Access Points and different.  The JHH are operated through the State of Arizona and the AP through the City of Phoenix and Maricopa County.  The JHH staff are part time serving 18 hours.  Libraries have the mobility to reach the community with the laptop component. AP have donated computers and printers. It is advised to call before coming to an AP or JHH.   


Todd encouraged to gage your audience and give workshops based on the feedback frm the audience.  At the Mesa Public Library they have helped homeless and ex offender populations with job seeking.  In the future a Workforce News with have online resources for specific populations:  elder worker, veterans, disabled, youth,  and others based on monthly gathering.   


Todd encouraged the librarians to attend Career Connectors.  Both Access Points and Workforce staff speak at Career Connectors.  Volunteers can help at any of the venues. 


Maricopa County Team Leadership Program for youth agest 12 to 17 living in Maricopa County.  The program launches May 29.  Parents must attend an orientation.  Government, community, and the environment are the area where the youth will be engaged to see what the county is doing.  The youth can job shadow, attend workshops, and see the county at work.  Last year 109 youth participated and had to complete the summer reading program.  They create their own agenda.  Parents and grandparents are joining the program with the youth.  The youth must volunteer for 10 hours in the community and the library is one of the places.  At the end the youth get a certificate and are honored by the Board of Supervisors.  Click on the youth section of the Maricopa Workforce Connection. is a resource for the other counties.  Tasks that needed to be done are hired through Task Rabbit.



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