Rhode Island Library Report
FOSTER – June 14 - Luke Esser knows he wants to work outdoors. An Eagle Scout with one semester left before graduation from the Community College of Rhode Island, he needs a job.
His major at CCRI is Land Surveyor Technology. He started his job search by checking the Yellow Pages and send letters to 50 surveyors. No luck.
The next stop on his job hunt? The Foster Public Library, where library director Kristen Chin and Foster Director of Human Services Karen Mauro are conducting a program to help residents of the rural western Rhode Island town find jobs.
Chin and Mauro received training from a Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training employee so they would be familiar with all the online information the department provides in addition to job listings.
Libraries all across Rhode Island are gearing up to provide more job hunting assistance, taking on a role created in part because the Department of Labor and Training has announced plans to lay off as many as 70 of its own employees.
After completing their training, Chin and Mauro used flyers and a local monthly newspaper to announce the first training at the library.
Esser, who lives in Foster and was homeschooled before entering CCRI, was more than happy to attend. He says he already uses the library three or four times a week, for books and because he has no Internet connection at home.
Navigating deeper into the website, Chin and Mauro showed tips on resume writing, self-assessment, identifying education program and analyzing the local job market.
Mauro had no problem relating to Esser. Ten years ago, she lost her management job for a large company that ran 64 nursing homes.
Her position was eliminated and she found herself in a Department of Labor and Training office trying to figure out her professional future.
As it turns out, her volunteer work for the Foster Human Services office grew into a full-time job a year ago. “I see a lot of people of all ages in Foster looking for work,” Mauro said. “Anytime I can get resources to help, I’m happy.”
Chin will continue to conduct job hunting sessions, adjusting the schedule to accommodate town residents.
Esser says he’ll continue coming to the library and checking the website, looking for that one connection to get his career up and running.