The New Jersey State Library (NJSL), an affiliate of Thomas Edison State College, has already enrolled more than 1,274 students in over 180 computer skills and workforce development workshops in public libraries across New Jersey. This statewide initiative is designed to provide workforce skills training to unemployed and underemployed residents and boost broadband adoption.
Targeted to New Jersey’s economically vulnerable residents, the workshops focus on teaching computer fundamentals, resume and cover letter techniques, job search fundamentals, and e-mail basics. Additionally, the program provides professional development workshops for library staff members. Librarians learn techniques for managing the computer resources, allowing them to better meet their patrons’ technology requests. The program has already conducted 33 workshops for its library staff and is partnering with a consortium of 19 New Jersey community colleges to provide instructors for these classes.
As of May 2011, the program distributed over 800 new computers to libraries across the state.