Partnering to Meet Community Workforce Needs

As the nation begins recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people are seeking opportunities to build skills, find and improve job prospects, and prepare for in-demand careers. The Public Libraries: Partners in Workforce Development webinar series showcases public library and partner workforce and career services from around the country. Each webinar tackles a different topic related to workforce development and provides practical tools and tips for libraries to plan, deliver, promote, assess, and advocate for these services to advance equitable economic recovery.

The first webinar in the series introduces and showcases national workforce partners and local collaborative program examples. Panelists will answer the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, and, most importantly, HOW to collaborate to improve library services and visibility—no matter your starting point—as well as enhance patron and community impacts. Hear from the director of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies and better understand their network and resources. Learn about local workforce ecosystems from the Urban Institute. And hear from Saint Paul (MN) Public Library and Ramsey County (MN) Workforce Solutions staff about their CARES Act-funded Career Labs and how they are working to sustain the labs and pivot to meet changing community needs.

Originally presented August 19, 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:

  • Identify workforce development partners and opportunities to collaborate to best serve community residents;
  • Identify funding and other resources to support library workforce services;
  • Develop or expand workforce and career services with community partners; and
  • Connect with a network of libraries and partners delivering workforce and career services to share effective practices.

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, reference staff, state library development staff, adult services staff, outreach and strategic partnership staff, and library trustees.


Xenia HernándezXenia Hernández is a library community services coordinator at Saint Paul (MN) Public Library. Her work is focused on nurturing collaborative partnerships and amplifying economic inclusion initiatives. She oversees the Workforce and Innovation Center, a makerspace for adults in downtown Saint Paul and five Career Labs—spaces for jobseekers impacted by COVID-19 to connect to technology and career opportunities.

Scott B. SandersScott B. Sanders has been the president and CEO of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) since October 2014. Headquartered in Washington, DC, NASWA is the national organization representing all fifty state workforce agencies, DC, and US territories. He previously served as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD), was a member of the cabinet for two governors, and has many years of private sector experience. Sanders was appointed to the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board in February 2019 and also serves on the boards of the LMI Institute and the UWC Foundation.

Shayne SpauldingShayne Spaulding is a senior fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, where her work focuses on the evaluation of workforce development and postsecondary education programs. She has spent more than 20 years in the workforce development field as an evaluator, technical assistance provider, and program manager. Her research has examined the public workforce system; community college innovations; employer engagement in workforce programs; services to parents, youth, and noncustodial fathers; people with criminal records, performance measurement in workforce programs, and other topics.

Shanika WallaceShanika Wallace is an employment service coordinator with Ramsey County (MN) Workforce Solutions. She believes that people can grow and thrive when they have access to resources and support to overcome obstacles. Wallace supervises the Community Career Labs—spaces that help individuals from all backgrounds, industries, and stages find their own path, market themselves, and find a career that has as much appeal as they do.



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

How to Register

No registration is required.

Tech Requirements

To playback this archived webinar you should have either the latest version of Flash running on your computer, or use a browser with native HTML5 support. Please use the most up-to-date version available of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer. A fast Internet connection and computer is recommended.

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.


If you have questions or problems accessing a recording, send a message to or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).