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Road to Success: Workforce Development Programs

Montgomery County Public Libraries, Maryland

Innovation Summary

Montgomery County Public Libraries has developed programs to positively impact economic development by strengthening and supporting the development of small businesses and by equipping residents with knowledge to succeed in today’s workforce. Designed for teens, adults and seniors, programs focus on career development, technology, digital, financial and business skills.

Problem Statement

The Montgomery County Executive charged MCPL to become a stronger contributor to the economic prosperity of the community and its diverse population. MCPL identified and worked with key local partners to roll out a concentration of workforce and business programs that provides access to high school diplomas, connections to online classes, assistance to new Americans facing career adjustments, help for residents to develop basic job skills and searching techniques and support for local small business owners.

Innovation

A workforce and economic development specialist was hired to identify and partner with local organizations and agencies and to unveil a series of workforce programs designed to support job seekers, career transitioners and residents seeking to upgrade skills for gainful employment as well as programs designed to support small business owners. MCPL also implemented the Career Online High School Diploma Program, being the first library system in Maryland to launch such an initiative.

Progress

Through this program, MCPL has embraced the opportunity to play a significant role in strengthening the economic potential of the people MCPL serves by offering educational support to local small business owners and helping residents broaden their career horizons. Over 600 residents attended the series of programs and two dozen adults plan to graduate from the online high school program by next year. More programs have been scheduled to continue enhancing residents’ skills and knowledge.