Supporting Patrons to Obtain In-Demand Credentials That Boost Employability and Career Mobility

Non-degree credentials (NDCs) allow job seekers to highlight relevant skills and training to employers, and enable employers to hire qualified applicants more quickly. For workers whose jobs have shifted over the course of their career or for those seeking a career change, NDCs can be the fastest and most cost-effective path to demonstrate continued learning and proficiency. But not all NDCs are created equally. With roughly 550,000 unique credentials—including badges, apprenticeships, course-completion certificates, and other certifications—it can be hard to know where to start.

During this on-demand webinar—the third in the Public Libraries: Partners in Workforce Development series—hear from a panel of experts who have made sense of the maze of available learning opportunities to connect workers to high-quality NDCs that lead to in-demand jobs and career pathways. Learn about nationally recognized, “stackable,” and portable credentials, and how library staff are supporting patrons to secure them to boost their employability and career mobility.

Panelists provide research and practical resources to successfully navigate NDCs with community members, as well as on-the-ground examples of statewide and local efforts in Washington and Nevada where libraries provide access and support to secure NDCs of value.

Originally presented September 23, 2021.

The series is being co-developed by PLA and Libswork, a national networking group on workforce and small business development. Additional webinars in this series to be announced.

Other webinars in this series:

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Better understand the landscape of non-degree credentials (NDCs) and why NDCs are important for the future workforce;
  • Identify NDCs of value and related training resources and providers;
  • Understand and articulate the roles libraries and library staff can play in supporting patrons accessing and securing high-value credentials; and
  • Develop or expand programs and services that boost employability and mobility with NDCs.

Additional Resources

Who Should Attend

This on-demand webinar is intended for library and community partner staff formally or informally developing and delivering workforce and career services—or planning to do so—including administrators, adult services staff, digital resources managers, adult education staff, reference staff, technology trainers, and state library development staff.


Emily FeltEmily Felt (she/they) is the adult services coordinator for Sno-Isle Libraries, which includes support for small business and job seekers in Island and Snohomish counties in the state of Washington. Felt has been with Sno-Isle Libraries since 2010, and serves as the primary contact for Sno-Isle Libraries’ participation in the Washington State Library’s Learn, Practice, Certify program.

Haley GloverHaley Glover is the strategy director for state action and equity at Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. In that role, she leads Lumina’s efforts to mobilize states to act in ways that support student success and reduce racial disparities in credential attainment.

Prior to joining Lumina, Glover served as associate commissioner for policy and planning studies at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. She has also served as director of fiscal and administrative policy for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, and as a fiscal policy analyst for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance.

Early in her career, Glover served as a researcher for the Center for Economic Competitiveness at the Hudson Institute and as a development associate for the National Dance Institute of New Mexico.

Karsten HeiseKarsten Heise joined the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) in April 2012 initially as technology commercialization director and then continued as director of strategic programs.

He leads Innovation Based Economic Development (IBED) in Nevada. As part of IBED, he created and manages Nevada’s State Small Business Credit Initiative Venture Capital Program. He also leads and overseas the ‘Nevada Knowledge Fund’ to spur commercialization at the state’s research institutions and to foster research and development engagements with the private sector, as well as supporting local entrepreneurial ecosystems and individual startups. In addition, Heise is deeply familiar with the European vocational training system. This experience inspired the development of the ”Learn and Earn Advanced Career Pathway” (LEAP) framework in Nevada, which progressed to becoming the standard template for developing career pathway models in the state. He is deeply passionate about continuously developing new workforce development approaches dealing with the consequences of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Elizabeth IaukeaAfter working in libraries since age twelve, Elizabeth Iaukea received her MLIS from Florida State University in 1999. Her first position as a “professional” librarian was at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a public access computer trainer for the U.S. Library Program. In the twenty years since, she has worked for the Washington State Library and for multiple public libraries in Western Washington. She's currently at the State Library as a workforce development librarian. The dominant theme across her career has been supporting library staff and their communities to gain and maintain the skills needed to remain relevant and competitive in their chosen fields, with a focus on digital skills.

Tammy WestergardTammy Westergard has advanced job recovery, STEM learning, career credentialing, and workforce training adapted to Nevada’s economic needs. Her work to modernize workforce programs through deployment of virtual reality resources has led to grant funding for new job seeker services. As project director for the U.S. Department of Education’s Reimagine Workforce Preparation Grant Program, her multiyear charter includes additional integration of 3D and virtual reality content to advance labor market literacy. Through Nevada’s public libraries equitable access to these powerful resources to upskill into living wage jobs is amplified. Prior to this, Westergard served as Nevada State Librarian and division administrator at the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records. Westergard is a member of the American Library Association, Public Library Association, Nevada Library Association, Association of Records Managers and Administrators, and Beta Phi Mu International Library and Information Studies Honor Society. She also serves as an International Advisory Board member for the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation.



This on-demand webinar is free and available 24/7 for your viewing convenience.

How to Register

No registration is required.

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Credits or CEUs

PLA does not award credit hours, CEUs, or certificates of attendance/completion/participation for its on-demand webinars and cannot verify participation.


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