Libraries offer free job help

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The Queens Library is helping residents lay a solid foundation to build their professional lives.

Throughout its 62 community facilities, Queens Library provides extensive job readiness and computer training through funding from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). All classes come at everyone’s favorite cost — free.

“This enhanced computer training and job training is very much in demand right now,” said Jennifer Manley, Queens Library director of government and community affairs.

With the $3.2 million BTOP grant, the library is able to provide a constant flow of classes six days a week. Among the dozens of options are classes on how to start your job search, interview skills, one-on-one sessions for resume and cover letter review, and career exploration.

“We’re always adding more classes. We can never have enough,” said Tara Lannen-Stanton, BTOP coordinator, who says the community participation has been incredible.

Among the most popular classes, according to Lannen-Stanton, are Introduction to Computers and Microsoft Office training.

“There are still so many people that need to know exactly how to use a computer. Just because you know how to use a smartphone or YouTube doesn’t necessarily mean you have the skills necessary to find work in the tough economy,” she said.

Also available is the Metrix Learning program, an online certification system. Metrix takes industry-recognized training content from a variety of sources and provides a 90-day training license to customers who can go into the system, set a job goal and receive recommendations for what courses to take based on an analysis of their skills.

Once the training course and practice tests have been completed, if the student receives a score of at least 80 percent, they can receive a free voucher for certification. Since this program was implemented in April 2011, more than 600 people have participated in Metrix.

“People more and more are beginning to recognize the value of certification,” said Lannen-Stanton.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Queens Library BTOP programs, call 718-990-8625 or visit queenslibrary.org.