Building Communities of Care in Workforce Development Programs

New brief examines the vital role that public libraries play for all members of a community, including job seekers.

Defines and describes how the idea of community can inform local responses to unemployment, drawing on research about the needs of the unemployed, as well as on lessons learned from public libraries where community is at the center of what they do. Also makes the case for local Workforce Development Boards to broaden and redefine their roles as community organizations, focusing not just on aggregating community resources, but also on ensuring that unemployed Americans have access to safe and supportive community spaces that help them cope with the social and emotional fallout of unemployment. Concludes with recommendations for creating communities of care and providing community-focused services.