Workforce Development Series at the New Orleans Public Library.
By AnaMaria Bech
Click aqui para español- >Serie de Desarrollo Laboral en la Biblioteca Pública de Nueva Orleans
Despite the technological advances that for decades have threatened the demise of books and print, the importance of the library as an educational, recreational and community resource very much remains.
Beyond hosting books on various topics and offering a litany of information free of charge to the public, libraries hold an essential place in society.
The New Orleans Public Library has been working hard to become a relevant community resource that offers a variety of interesting programs for individuals of all ages. These efforts complement their vision of becoming catalysts of change in a growing, connected, and vibrant city.
Transforming lives, enriching neighborhoods, and preserving history continues to be the mission of the New Orleans Public Library, a system that has 15 locations throughout the city. In its varied agenda, one can find writing workshops, computer courses, story time, creative seminars, homework clubs, crafts sessions, and language conversation groups, among many other activities.
During each year’s first semester, the New Orleans Public Library offers its "Workforce Development Series": a free series with valuable resources for people in different stages of life who are looking for work or new work horizons.
The series is designed and directed by Jessica Rareshide, a Certified Personnel Consultant, and a credentialed Certified Staffing Professional. Ms. Rareshide has worked with various nationally recognized organizations.
Carlette Dennis of the Algiers Library believes that since its inception, the Workforce Development Series continues to be highly rewarding for both Rareshide and the New Orleans Public Library, and for the community. Ms. Dennis raves about how Ms. Rareshide presents her workshops and goes above and beyond to help attendees, stating that "[Ms. Rareshide] has valuable business knowledge and she handles development issues very well. Her knowledge is vast and remains valid."
In creating this series, Rareshide considered the needs of people at different stages of life and included topics for those looking to change careers, those who have been out of the workforce and who want to return after a long hiatus, and even for those trying to cope with retirement. For entrepreneurs, Rareshide created "Corporation of One", a popular workshop where she emphasizes the need to create and maintain a personal brand.
April Martin, the Adult Programs leader at the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library adds, “the workshops address soft skills such as interviewing and confidence techniques along with more traditional job readiness training like resume building” in describing the successful Workforce Development Series where library patrons obtain the tools they need to present themselves to potential employers as prepared and qualified candidates.
The New Orleans Public Library invites New Orleans residents to visit their venues and discover all the programs offered throughout the city and to take advantage of the vast knowledge and expertise of Jessica Rareshide during the Workforce Development Series workshops.