An Investment in Opportunity

Thanks to a generous investment from Vanguard, West Boulevard Library will be home to the Library system’s newest Job Help Center.

Before the pandemic, five to ten customers a day came to West Boulevard to look for a job. Now, demand is even greater.

“Customers use Library computers for job searches, writing and printing resumes, and more,” says branch leader LaJuan Pringle. “With this grant, we can dedicate resources for job help and add skills training, space for onsite virtual interviews, even loan the wardrobe items an applicant may need for an interview.” Library staff will receive National Career Development Association training and certification to provide one-on-one career coaching, as well as programming for the whole community.

This isn’t the first investment Vanguard has made in the West Boulevard location. In 2019 a Vanguard Hometown Grant provided a laptop vending machine, and a second gift of laptops are available for customers to borrow and take home. “This is a natural next step,” says Pringle. “The vending machine laptops are often used for extended computer sessions for job searches, and now we’ll have a dedicated space with scanners, fax service, stationery and other materials.”

West Boulevard will be the fifth Library location to have a job help center, and it is expected to be fully operational this summer.

A 2014 Chetty Study ranked Charlotte last among the largest US cities in upward mobility. Since then, a Leading On Opportunity Task Force established a set of strategies for improvement, and the Library’s workforce development initiatives are closely aligned with those recommendations.

“Vanguard has been so generous over the last few years. Job help and professional development is something our customers have been seeking for a long time, and this is a really impactful, exciting way to improve lives and build a stronger community. We’re very grateful to Vanguard for their support.”

The Vanguard Hometown Grants program provides community grants to nonprofit agencies in the communities near and around where Vanguard operates. Funded by the Vanguard Group Foundation, the program is run by local Investment Committees made up of crew (employee) volunteers, who select and vet the giving strategies. Vanguard Hometown Grants Program currently operates out of Vanguard’s Greater Philadelphia, Greater Charlotte, and Greater Phoenix offices.

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