Tuesday, December 8, 2015

JobLINC Centers and Pointers for Management of JobLINC Buses

Yesterday I boarded a JobLINC bus for the first time ever... The interior of the bus was/is very impressive, what one would expect judging from the exterior of the vehicle and from its web description. For a while I was the only client until a rather creepy fellow, who struck me as someone with a military background, entered and commenced discussion with one of the career counselors of how he kept getting fired from jobs and needed some assistance.  I suddenly felt unsafe, and realized how vulnerable I, another female client, and the two employment counselors really were. Since the bus was parked at the library, this session really should not have taken place on the bus, but inside of the library, where there is a presence of security officers...

Library-Based JobLINC Centers

JobLINC Centers should be incorporated into public libraries. Incorporating JobLINC Centers into public libraries could avail job seekers access to JobLINC resources more regularly, i.e. from open until closing of the libraries each operational day. Digital signage could be placed in the JobLINC centers and exhibit career, resume, and/or job search tutorials, on scheduled repeat, while patrons utilize desktop JobLINC computers, which would each be set to display the JobLINC page from the library’s website for patron convenience. The employment counselors could still offer in-person services on the same days, however. Computers available for use in JobLINC centers would be privy only to job seekers. In addition to the said benefits, patrons of JobLINC centers could also readily utilize restrooms inside of the library, noting that JobLINC buses do not have restrooms (They could always park near localities where patrons could make use of restrooms in nearby establishments, however).

Pointers for Management of JobLINC Buses

JobLINC buses, which should have at least one to two professionally trained security officers onboard during all excursions, should not travel to other libraries or any localities where computers are already available for public use. They should rather travel to locations where they are really needed, like apartment and other residential communities, shopping plazas, remote, and other localities in low-income neighborhoods. They could also travel to government agencies like the Department of Human Services,* WIC offices, etc. (*All DHS offices should really have on-site career centers and employment counselors for clients. Until they do, they would ideally be a regularly scheduled stop on the JobLINC bus itinerary).

A Mobile JobLINC Visitation Application Process

There should be an application process for mobile JobLINC visitations. The application should, of course, be online, preferably on library websites. Applications would be approved or denied based upon merit, i.e. whether or not the requesting agency already has sufficient resources to conduct requested services, and availability of resources for excursions.

In Summation

JobLINC buses, which should also provide a safe environment for patrons and employees, should be utilized where and only where they are truly needed, not at public libraries or any other locations where there are computers already available for public use. JobLINC is an excellent resource that when optimally utilized could significantly reduce episodes of unemployment by helping to eliminate employment barriers that are relevant to a lack of access to resources like technology or computers and internet access, and to employment counselors who provide basic computer training where it relates to the employment application process, and who render insight into making employment searches more productive…

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