Springfield-Greene County Library District receives $3,000 for workforce training

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - The Springfield-Greene County Libraries’ efforts to boost workforce development were recognized recently with a $3,000 grant.

The Library received a Spotlight Award from Libraries Lead with Digital Skills, an initiative of the American Library Association and Public Library Association, sponsored by Grow with Google. The Spotlight Award includes a $3,000 grant to cover the costs of continuing programs for workforce development. The Library will also receive marketing support, technical guidance, advocacy tools and a community of practice with the goal of drawing attention to the services libraries provide.

The grant money will help programs like the ones offered through The EDGE Technology Community Center through the Library District. Four new, free workshops are planned in early 2020 at the Library, including sessions for job seekers and nonprofits wanting skills to help them grow their organizations.

Krissy Sinor of The EDGE talked about how important the classes they offer are considering the lack of digital knowledge some people have, no matter what generation. "You look at older folks who may have been out of the job force for a while or they've had a job for 20 or 30 years that didn't require those digital skills and now they need them," started Sinor. "Some younger people, while they're really good with their smartphones, they're not that good with Microsoft Word, or they don't know how to use spreadsheets, or they're not really sure how it all works and how it all fits together."

Sinor encouraged people to be open minded and ask for help when they need it, adding they aren't alone. "I just put myself out there and I say, 'Okay, I have no idea what we are talking about,'" she began. "You're not the only one."

Sinor said the classes at The EDGE are very informal and the instructors do not "assume" those attending know anything about technology.

The EDGE Community Technology Center is located in the basement of the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library at 397 East Central Street in Springfield.