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Columbus Libraries Offer Job Help in Bad Economy

The job help program started at the Hilltop Branch about a month ago. Beginning this week, it is available at all branches of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, each with a different schedule of events and classes.

At the Hilltop Branch Library, during the afternoon, there is a little room reserved for job hunters.

Charles Burch is getting help with his new resume. He sits at one of six computers with two other job seekers.

Burch moved to Columbus from Michigan in August. He grew up in Flint and says he remembers a time when the economy in that part of the country flourished. Now, he's restarting his job search after losing work at a temp agency.

"Just trying to find somebody that's doing any hiring right now," he said. "A lot of people's not hiring. Hopefully I can be one of them that they will, even if it's just a dishwashing job. I don't know. Something.I'd like something."

Joe Yersavich is the Hilltop Library branch manager and he runs the job help program for the library system. He's on hand to help with questions and to guide applicants through the process. Yersavich says the program is a result of the economic downturn. He says it has been well received because it caters to an obvious need in the community.

"The word I would use is appreciative," he said. "People are really appreciative of the service."

The job centers offer extended computer sessions, classes, and hands on help with resumes, applications and any other questions that come up.

"We are noticing more folks who have never had to use computers before to apply for jobs are now put in the position where they have to," he said. "At so many places, their entry-level positions, you need to fill out an online application. And some of these applications are lengthy."

John Barksdale has been conducting his job search at the library for about a month and a half. He has two interviews next week.

"I've been getting a lot of feedback and everything," he said. "So this place has been helping me out with that. Without this place I wouldn't get no feedback or gotten as far as I've got."

The services are free. Because libraries are using available resources, the program is not using extra funds.