U.S. Rep. Rush Holt Applauds the Work of the Business Resource Center@ East Brunswick Public Library
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) visited the East Brunswick Public Library Thursday afternoon for a tour of the facility’s Business Resource Center and to discuss ways to make similar centers eligible for Workforce Investment Act funds.
The visit was just one in a series of events with librarians and school children throughout Central New Jersey highlighting legislation by Rep. Holt to strengthen school libraries and to help libraries better serve job-seekers.
During Holt’s visit to East Brunswick, he discussed his proposed Workforce Investments through Local Libraries (WILL) Act, which would integrate libraries throughout the state into job-training efforts such as State and Local Workforce Investment Boards and make Workforce Investment Act funds available to them. The act would amend the WIA to include library representation on state and local workforce investment boards and recognizes public libraries as allowable “One-Stop” partners. It also authorizes new demonstration and pilot projects to establish employment resources in public libraries.
He said the library’s BRC was a perfect example of that integration.
“Today, the head of the Institute of Museum and Library Services Susan Hildreth came to New Jersey and wanted to know what was a particularly good example of a library that is meeting the community needs for job seekers, and we said East Brunswick,” said Rep. Holt. “There are really dozens and dozens of library’s around this state that are heavily used by people that are trying to brush up on their skills or find a match for the skills. In other words, for job hunting, and this is a particularly good example.”
Since it opened in January 2011, the Business Resource Center has worked with job seekers by providing them with computer training courses, resume services and with access to state resources. It has partnered with the East Brunswick Business Alliance and small businesses throughout Middlesex County to strengthen their businesses by providing targeted classes and support. In addition, the Business Resource Center provides notary services, color copying, faxing, marketing opportunities, resume reviews, networking events, proctoring and much more.
“We’re reaching out to those people who are unemployed or underemployed,” said Library Director MaryEllen Firestone. “A lot of people, as we know, when they leave a job, they’re not voluntarily leaving, and they are looking for some place to go, someplace to update their skills, someplace that they can get a helping hand. We’ve reached out in a big way with our Business Resource Center to help people work on their resumes and to learn computer skills that they may not have had already.
“In addition, we have many entrepreneurs, home businesses and small businesses that are the backbone of our economy and we are positioning the BRC as a resource to help them grow their businesses and connect them to folks looking for jobs.”
In October, the BRC was selected from libraries throughout the state to receive the Best Practices and Marketing Award from the NJ State Library. As part of the award, it received a $1,000 check to help continue the center’s efforts, including many of the Databases in use by job seekers.
For more information on the Business Resource Center, visit www.brc1.org or call 732-390-6782.