MONTPELIER, Vt. – This spring, Community College of Vermont (CCV) will continue its partnership with the Vermont Department of Libraries to support six Job Hunt Helpers, CCV work study students who are available to help library patrons search for and apply to jobs and career opportunities. Beginning this month, students will once again be available at the Goodrich Memorial Library in Newport, the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, Winooski Memorial Library, Aldrich Public Library in Barre, the Rutland Free Library, and Brattleboro’s Brooks Memorial Library.
The Job Hunt Helpers program launched in February 2016 with funding from the Vermont Department of Libraries as well as the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation. In spring 2017 the Job Hunt Helpers program will be funded exclusively by the Department of Libraries, which received a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to promote information literacy in Vermont communities.
Robb Barclay, who holds a degree in mechanical engineering, is looking for a job in the greater Burlington area. He says CCV’s Job Hunt Helper at the Winooski Memorial Library helped him advance his job search. “I’m looking to meet employers one on one, so they can put a face to my name,” says Barclay. “It was encouraging to talk to someone who understands that it can be a very difficult, impersonal process.” He worked with a Job Hunt Helper to improve his resume and establish contacts at several local engineering companies. “I grew up in Vermont and I’d like to stay,” says the Essex Junction native, who hopes to secure a position in the coming weeks.
CCV Visual Arts major Andrea Otto said serving as a Job Hunt Helper in St. Johnsbury taught her about her community. She said many of the patrons she assisted were anxious about using computers, and she was able to help them create resumes and search for and apply to jobs online. Additionally, she said she gained an appreciation for the resources offered by the library itself. “I think a lot of people in this area still don’t have internet access in their homes,” she said. “People use the library to use email. It would be great to let them know more about the [career] resources that are available.”
The spring semester, which begins on January 23, will mark the third continuous semester of the Job Hunt Helper program. Students logged roughly 150 help sessions with library patrons between March and December of last year, assisting with job searches, resume preparation, career exploration and research, computer use, and education and training searches.