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Library helps seekers access jobs

MEADVILLE – Franklin County Public Library’s Enola McAllister isalone among Mississippi librarians who can help job seekers takethe “hunt” out of “job hunt.”

Last week, McAllister became the state’s only e-Win Access PointAmbassador after a training session at the Brookhaven WIN JobCenter. With her new training, she will be able to help librarypatrons use the library’s technology to search for employment onthe Mississippi Department of Employment Security’s Web site.

McAllister will be able to assist job seekers in using theMississippi Online Job Opportunities software, as well asretrieving information on the labor market, job searching tips andtraining information.

While online job searching has always been available at thelibrary – or from any computer with Internet access – McAllisterwill now be able to provide a helping hand to any job seekers whomay need it since she is trained in the use of the officialtools.

“When I went out for the classes, I learned a lot of things,”she said. “The classes taught me to show library patrons where theycould find the Web site and how to navigate it.”

With McAllister’s assistance, people facing unemployment will beable to seek out jobs from the library – an e-Win Access Point -without having to make the drive to the nearest WIN Job Center.McAllister said that while the actual job application still must bemade through the job center, job seekers can use the library andher assistance to search for appropriate employment without havingto make extra trips to Brookhaven.

With fuel nearing $4 per gallon, McAllister’s help can be ablessing to those facing unemployment and a tight budget.

“This is for people who are coping with unemployment,” she said.”We can help them when they’re out of work or facing a layoff.”

McAllister said the MDES online tools group available jobs bycategories and list each job’s specifications and requirements. Jobseekers can browse through the lists until they find a jobcommensurate with their skills.

Each available job has a corresponding job number, which can beentered – in person at a WIN Job Center – to apply.

“This system just gives patrons knowledge of what’s available,”McAllister said.

Other than forcing job seekers to do the actual applying at aWIN Job Center, the system has a few other flaws. McAllister saidthe system lists only jobs, not the actual companies posting thejobs. The system also only lists jobs within Mississippi, excludingjobs in Louisiana, where offshore jobs have always been atraditional source of employment for many Mississippians.

Despite a few shortcomings, McAllister still has the knowledgeto use the e-Win Access Point to help those in need of employment -all kinds of people, all kinds of jobs.

“We’ve had several people come in here that cannot read orwrite,” she said. “But there’s a lot of jobs they can do. We canfind those jobs, give them the job number and send them to the jobcenter.”