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Cedar Rapids Public Library Receives Grant to Expand Workforce Development

Cedar Rapids Public Library Receives Grant to Expand Workforce Development

Librarian Kevin Delecki leans over a table to look at a man's resume on his phone. They are standing under a red library tent, next to the Library's Mobile Technology Lab van.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced this week the Cedar Rapids Public Library is a recipient of the FY2022 American Rescue Plan Grant Program for Museums and Libraries.

“We are proud to be among this group of public institutions across the country who are working to provide critical services during the pandemic and beyond,” Library Director Dara Schmidt said. “These funds will allow us to further our goal of providing support to all members of our community so that they can learn, enjoy, and thrive.”

The Library will receive $44,969 for the Workforce Development Expansion of the Library’s Mobile Technology Lab, which launched in 2021. The funds will help the Library expand its initiatives to provide technology access and workforce development programs in low-income neighborhoods. Utilizing the Mobile Technology Lab, the Library will be able to provide portable laptops, printers, and other services at parks and community partner locations.

Additionally, the Library will use the funding to support community members in their job searches by providing assistance with résumé writing, convening workshops on interviewing skills to help job seekers set themselves apart in an online environment, and going to employer-driven job fairs throughout the community to help people apply on-site. The focus on building skill sets will help address the community’s unemployment challenges and workforce shortages that were exacerbated by COVID-19.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services will distribute $15,255,733 in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act grants to institutions across 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to support the role of museums and libraries in recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. A total of 390 projects were selected from 572 applications requesting $22,840,028. Institutions receiving awards are matching them with $20,030,419 in non-federal funds.

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