September 27th 2019
Today, the Plainfield Public Library (PPL) opened its new “Computer Certification Center” (CCC) with an “invitation only” Grand Opening Event. The lab was built and outfitted in partnership with the City of Plainfield and The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJLWD) to address the computer skills gap and digital divide that prevents many Union County communities from thriving in the new economy.
County Freeholders, Members of the Plainfield City Council, the Library Board of Trustees, and The Friends of the Plainfield Public Library, attended with state partner agencies as well as members of community organizations.
The CCC operates alongside the Library’s “Creative Learning Center” (CLC), augmenting the already robust on-site job training and certification offerings.
Mary Ellen Rogan, the Director of the Plainfield Public Library gave an overview of the Library’s near 30 year support for Plainfield’s Adult Literacy needs ranging from a vibrant ESL and GED/Basic Skills program to job search and resume assistance. The new digital literacy training and certifications add core 21st century job skills. She specifically noted that the Library “accomplishes all this without ever charging a fee through the financial assistance of our City, our donors and government grants.”
According to Scott Kuchinsky, the Library’s Coordinator of Literacy Services, in just the last year, in partnership with NJLWD and the Union and Middlesex County American Job Centers, 90 students at the Library earned over 130 industry recognized Digital Literacy Credentials including Microsoft and IC3 certifications. This program’s success pushed the library’s facilities to their limits requiring the creation of additional instructional space.
A key feature of the program is that successful students leave with credentials that can lead to immediate job placement. Two Plainfield students, who participated through a county funded youth program, were hired as part-time employees at the Library.
The event ended with a facilities tour and a presentation focused on the new lab’s technology by the Library’s teaching staff, demonstrating how the instructional tools are used to increase student engagement and produce better learning outcomes.
Any questions about the event can be directed to Scott Kuchinsky, Coordinator of Literacy Services, 908.757.1111 ext. 120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.