North Las Vegas Library District director Forrest Lewis and his team have aimed for years to provide more resources for academic and career readiness.
Their vision is set to bear fruit by the end of this year with the help of two partners: Workforce Connections, an organization that provides one-stop career centers for job seekers, and the College of Southern Nevada’s workforce and economic development department, which provides opportunities for education and career advancement.
“We’re tying it together because we see it as being so important that for a student to be successful in a classroom, it’s the full family approach,” Lewis said. “If their parents are able to get better jobs and they don’t have to work two to three jobs, they will be able to spend quality time with family and help with homework.”
Prior to the partnerships, the limited library staff was responsible for providing resume assistance, helping people apply for jobs and college, and maintaining their other job responsibilities. It was difficult for them to provide proper assistance, Lewis said, so they decided to team with agencies trying to provide the same services.
The agencies plan to develop a one-stop career center at each of the libraries through their partnership with Workforce Connections, Lewis said. The project is expected to launch by the end of the year, first at Alexander Library.
The district’s partnership with CSN will allow it to provide classes for students to earn their high school equivalency (HSE) diploma, English-as-a-second-language classes and training for specific fields, Lewis said.
The library district launched its first series of workforce and economic development courses in October at the North Las Vegas library at City Hall, offering basic adult education courses such as literacy improvement and HSE. Alexander Library offers English-as-a-second-language classes. The courses last eight weeks at these sites, department senior specialist Claudia Brantley said.
All of CSN’s classes, as well as textbooks, are provided at no cost to students, she said. There are more than 20 sites in the Last Vegas area. Three are in the north valley: the two libraries and the North Las Vegas CSN campus. There are 25-30 people in each class, Brantley said.