- With the employer community increasingly looking to state and local governments for help with the skills gap, a new proposal has emerged. Instead of creating new institutions, governments can use trusted, existing facilities like libraries to take on the role of workforce trainer, suggests Christian Conroy, a masters candidate at Georgetown University, in the Georgetown Public Policy Review.
- Many libraries already offer "employment services," but Conroy says they're often limited to skills like interviewing and resume writing. Instead, he suggests that libraries could adopt MOOCs and leverage blockchain to provide credential validation, among other things.
- Libraries also could work with employers to plan for pending innovations that require new skillsets and develop programs that provide individuals with necessary soft skills, Conroy says.
As the need for skilled employees puts more pressure on business, the employer community is increasingly looking for creative solutions. Conroy's proposal is the latest in a line of suggestions aimed at reducing the skills gap. Others have proposed apprenticeships, other types of partnerships with schools, improved branding, a focus on untapped talent pools and more.
Separately, libraries are working to remain relevant in a digital world. Could the opportunity to serve as a training center be a win-win? Engaging a partner with a technology-ready facility and a loyal constituency may very well be a no-brainer for employers hoping to create a steady stream of qualified candidates in its community.