Written by Scott Priestle, Marketing and Communications Manager, Cincinnati Works

Melinda Prunty of Pleasant Ridge works four part-time jobs, a couple of which are downtown. Once or twice each week, she stops into the Downtown Main Library on her way to work so she can search and apply for a full-time job. She is not confident in her computer skills, so she appreciates the help of Library staff.

On a recent Monday morning, Prunty met career coach Vicki Camardo in the second floor TechCenter. This is part of an ongoing partnership between Cincinnati Works and The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Prunty had a lead on a full-time custodial job that pays $17 per hour with full benefits. Camardo, an Advancement Coach at Cincinnati Works, helped her navigate the online application process and ensured that her resume was attached properly.

“I’m learning something today,” Prunty said with a smile. “This is great.”

Camardo and other Cincinnati Works coaches spend time in the TechCenter every Monday, offering free career coaching to all Library patrons who are interested. The weekly sessions began June 24. Through the first seven weeks, Cincinnati Works coaches worked one-on-one with 25 job-seekers on resumes, job applications, mock interviews, career exploration, managing barriers to employment, and access to Cincinnati Works membership. 

“The thing I have been impressed with already is the quality of the engagement we’ve had,” said Leslie Kish, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Cincinnati Works. “Whether it is someone who had an injury and has to change careers because of their physical limitations, or whether it is a returning citizen who is trying to start over - to get someone to open up and share that kind of information in a setting like that, it says a lot about our coaches and how well they listen and pick up on those key issues.”

Most of the engagements have begun with a specific, short-term need for help updating a resume or completing an online application – issues that Cincinnati Works coaches address every day. Multiple job-seekers have returned on subsequent Mondays for additional sessions with a coach, which speaks to the value of the partnership.

“We have wanted to work with the Library for quite some time,” Kish said. “They have a lot of resources for job-seekers, it is a known place for people to look for jobs, and with the proximity to our office, it made sense in a lot of ways. We felt like we could complement what their staff was already doing well and plug in our expertise and our connections.”

Prunty appreciated having an experienced coach to guide her through the job application. The custodial job “would change my life tremendously,” she said, so she wanted to make the best possible impression with her resume and application.

Regardless of what happens with that job, Camardo recommended that Prunty attend computer literacy classes at the Library and encouraged her to become a Cincinnati Works Member, so she can continue to receive one-on-one career coaching.

“Oh, yeah, I’m gonna be there,” Prunty said. “That’s what I need.”

You can visit the Library's events calendar to search for computer literacy classes at your nearest Branch Library or visit our eLearning page for access to lots of digital training resources. 

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