Small business is the backbone of the economy and keeping up with the ever-changing technology landscape is critical for businesses to succeed.
With Iowa’s unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation, it is crucial that we work together as communities to upskill our workers to fill the shortages felt by many businesses across the state.
Libraries have traditionally been known as a place to borrow books, but our library has been constantly evolving to keep up with the needs of the 21st century. Students and community members can still count on our library for research and their favorite books, but they are also able to visit for collaboration opportunities, access to the internet, STEM learning and multimedia labs.
The Council Bluffs Public Library offers classes and online training videos for workers wanting to learn new skills or software, practice tests and resume building tools for people looking to change careers, and market research tools for business owners. The library’s Makerspace technology lab offers free access to specialized equipment and software, and library meeting rooms are equipped to accommodate community functions.
Now, more than ever, Americans are using libraries as a resource for professional growth. One hundred percent of public libraries in the county offer access to the Internet, and 73 percent of percent of public libraries assist community members with job applications and interviewing skills. Locally, our library staff are available to help patrons realize their personal and professional goals, whether you are applying for your first job or looking to advance in your current role.
Google has been an important partner in helping our library meet the needs of our community members. Celebrating 10 years in Council Bluffs this year, Google’s data center now employs more than 400 people and has provided more than $1 million in grants to nonprofits in our community (including our library).
We are proud to partner with Google on the upcoming “Grow with Google” library tour to provide free education and resources to our small businesses and community members in Council Bluffs. Google is working with libraries across the nation to provide these free, digital workshop sessions, and we are excited to host one in Council Bluffs.
During the Grow with Google event on April 16, Google experts will work with business owners to improve their web presence, grow their business and connect with more customers online.
They will also help working Iowans and businesses with all things digital by assisting with the creation of customer-friendly websites, production of video content to promote their businesses or even updating their personalized Google listing to better interact with customers. This will not only help with the stress of managing business owners’ responsibilities, but also with educating Iowans on growing their online presence in a competitive, digital world.
Anyone interested in attending the free event can learn more and register at g.co/growiowa.
We hope you join us April 16th as we work to grow small businesses in our community and the workforce of tomorrow through technology and innovation.