In Teller County 564 people are either looking for or hoping to find a different job through the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. In a time when computer skills are vital to the search, the Woodland Park library, in conjunction with the workforce center, offers a variety of services and training.
Jane Sackmann, an employee of PPWFC, staffs the resource center at the library on Thursdays, helping clients file for unemployment benefits, search online for job openings and update resumes.
Sackmann’s effect on Teller County is noticeable, with the number of clients seeking help increasing from 173 last year to 271 this year.
“She’s awesome,” said Mary Ann Pisaruk, who coordinators the services provided by the resource center.
In addition to the services provided by Sackmann, the library offers free computer classes and tips for the job search. “We have a handout that lists a set of characteristics that transfers to any job,” Pisaruk said.
As the center’s coordinator Pisaruk hears a variety of stories, from people who think they’re too old to find job or feel unqualified for working in the 21st century.
While the library’s resource center has been open for five years Pisaruk feels that many in the community are not aware of the room on the lower level of the library. “We’re trying to figure out creative ways to get the word out that we’re here,” she said. “As well, we’d like local businesses to let us know when they have job openings.”
To date Pikes Peak Regional Hospital is the only business that contacts the resource center about job openings, Pisaruk said.
Pisaruk counts the library’s successes in the number of people who come back and report good news, that they’d found a job. Among the center’s clients are ex-military who have either been laid off or have not found a position.
“Pikes Peak Workforce Center does give preference to veterans who get 24-hour notice prior to a job opening,” Pisaruk said. “While there aren’t a whole lot of jobs in Woodland, we can do a job search on the Pikes Peak Workforce Center’s website.”
While the job searches are done in conjunction with PPWFC, the library offers a variety of free classes, from computer and Internet basics and Microsoft office products to digital photography and ancestry research, in addition to help with Facebook and building resumes.
“We teach people how to download e-readers,” Pisaruk. “As well we have 100 books and magazines available free for download.”
The library’s resource center is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday.