The Opportunity Center at Ladd Library is a one-stop-shop that offers a variety of services, including:
- Job training and placement
- Transportation assistance
- Financial literacy programs
- Housing and social services referrals
- English as a Second Language classes (coming in the future)
Located at the back of the Ladd Library, the Opportunity Center features a 30-people classroom equipped with desktop computers and areas to meet confidentially with the public. In the past, Navigator Carol O’Brien had a table in the main part of the library to meet with clients where conversation was limited by confidentiality constraints. Now, services are provided within a 5000 square foot area at the back of the library where there is plenty of space for Carol and other service providers to have private conversations.
The East Central Region Mental Health and Disability Services reached out to the Opportunity Center with the goal of improving job retention and career advancement opportunities among direct care professionals. Carol offers the following services to MHDS staff members: 1) connection with income supports including food, transportation, child care, health care and energy assistance; 2) continuing education learning opportunities; and 3) direct support for food, clothing, personal care items, and transportation. Kirkwood’s Continuing Education Program met with MHDS providers to design course that give direct care professionals the tools needed to be successful in their jobs. Iowa Works and Kirkwood Community College plan to provide additional staffing. MHDS of the East Central Region assists with funding Opportunity Center Services and providers are encouraged to recommend the center to any individuals or families they work with.
For more information, please visit www.crlibrary.org/opportunity-center, 3750 Williams Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.