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Library Workforce Partnership Initiative

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Library Workforce Partnership Initiative

San Diego Public Library

Workforce and Economic Development | 2021 | Honorable Mention

Innovation Summary

By partnering, the SDPL and the San Diego Workforce Partnership significantly increased our ability to assist the unemployed, underemployed, and those who desire a career change. The unique model includes career development for the whole family, combined organizational resources and cross trained staff. Leveraging resources in a time of high unemployment.

Problem Statement

With the onset of the pandemic and subsequent high unemployment, families faced increasing challenges in career development. With children at home, adults found limited resources to assist with reentering the job market. A model was needed for the whole family in response to the two-generation crisis and to showcase available resources. Parents needed to up/reskill and learn to find work while their children engaged in career assessment activities. By combining organizational resources, we met these needs.


A model was created where career development is presented as a family activity, the organizations leverage existing resources, and the partners engage in cross organizational education. The workshop can be presented at different locations highlighting aspects of career development and introduce the job-related resources of both organizations including computer and Wi-Fi access, job coaching, career workshops and electronic databases. This model informs not only members of the public, but staff of both organizations.


The participants utilized assessment tests, reviewed on-line resources, and researched data related to high demand vocations. Families worked side-by-side to develop workforce readiness skills and discover career development opportunities. Surveys showed that 89.9% were more aware of available resources. Library and workforce staff benefitted from a better understanding of the resources offered by each organization. The model is unique, tailored and sustainable, which increases the potential of this partnership.