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Panel discussion about libraries and workforce development in Ohio featured keynote remarks from Congresswoman Marcia Fudge


CLEVELAND, August 8, 2018: A panel of leading Ohioans met on August 8th and highlighted how libraries address community workforce needs. The program, titled “Libraries Educate Today’s Workforce for Tomorrow’s Careers,” featured keynote remarks from US Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11).


“Libraries are a fundamental part of our communities,” said Congresswoman Fudge. “They are not only information hubs, but also places of refuge for our teens, serve as shelter for our homeless and connect employers with the unemployed.  We must continue to support these institutions that do so much to advance our communities.”


Held at the corporate headquarters of Rakuten OverDrive, Inc. in Cleveland, the program was sponsored by the Cleveland Public Library, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Ohio Library Council, Rakuten OverDrive, and the American Library Association.


“Every day Americans are routinely visiting their local branches and working with library staff and library-provided tools to improve their job skills, scan the job market, and access educational programs,” says Sari Feldman, Executive Director of Cuyahoga County Public Libraries.


“Libraries are established centers for learning and advancement and this national infrastructure is already in place and is ready to accommodate new programs. We hope this panel discussion will lead to more opportunities for community leaders and elected officials to leverage libraries in the ongoing effort to ready workers for the growing and changing job market,” said Ms. Feldman.


“Libraries play a unique role in addressing community needs, and our role in workforce development continues to expand," says Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director of Cleveland Public Library. "We not only provide continuous learning opportunities for job seekers, but we also offer resources that benefit the whole person and lead to self-sufficiency. Today’s program offers more insight into the work we’re doing with our partners in this space and how that work benefits the entire community.”


The program for “Libraries Educate Today’s Workforce for Tomorrow’s Careers” included:

  • Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (keynote)

  • Russ Mitchell, WKYC-TV Anchor and Managing Editor (moderator)

  • Steve Potash, President, CEO and Founder, Rakuten OverDrive, Inc.

  • Ryan Burgess, Director, Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation

  • Shontel Brown, County Council Representative (District 9), Cuyahoga County Council

  • Jeff Patterson, CEO, Cuyahoga County Metropolitan Housing Authority

  • Dr. Denise Reading, CEO, GetWorkerFit

  • Mick Muñoz, Tri-C Veterans Initiative & Library Patron

  • Loida García-Febo, President, American Library Association


The event is the first in a series of local panel discussions and events organized by the American Library Association and hosted in partnership with libraries and library businesses across the country.


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Revised: 08/14/18 13:11:22 -0700.




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