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Widening Our Reach: Employment Assistance for Non-English Speakers

King County Library System
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Innovation Summary

Expansive employment assistance resources were created for Non-English speakers.

Innovation Leader: Jo Anderson Cavinta, Diversity Coordinator, jacavinta@kcls.org

Problem Statement

English language learners throughout King County, including a significant population of immigrants and refugees, face unique challenges in a difficult economy. Compounding hardships is their volume - non-profit agencies are struggling to provide services to an increasing number of clients. Many now turn to the library.

Innovation

A 'Job Search Basics' site was created to assist Non-English speakers in their search for employment. Webpages were created in 4 languages common in King County (Chinese, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese). Each language-specific site provides a general overview of multiple job search topics: Job Skills and Requirements, Finding a Job, Applying for a Job, Job Interviews, Working in America. Sites also include downloadable information for patron take-away. In addition to introductory-themed content, 'Job Search Basics' includes content geared towards intermediate and advanced job seekers as well as content targeted to patrons looking to start small businesses. Multiple partner organizations collaborated and funding was generously provided by the Tateuchi Foundation. Community partners also received a preloaded USB drive with 'Job Search Basics' content.

Progress

Access to job readiness resources among English Language Learners and Immigrants has increased via 'Job Search Basics' resources and new partnerships. Community partners are already reporting use of content in their locally held classes.