Burbank Library’s Job Connect Plus Ceremony Recognizes 20 Participants

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(Photo by Alejandro Vega)

On Friday, December 15, Burbank Central Library hosted the Fall 2023 Cohort Recognition Ceremony in Downtown Burbank. The 3-month program focused on individuals who wanted a rebranding of their value in the job market or leveraged in transitioning. Twenty individuals received certificates in their training to commemorate their hard work. Refreshments were provided, as well as Burbank’s power players in education and government.

(Photo by Alejandro Vega)

Jesse Maldonado, leader of the Workforce Center for Burbank, was pleased to explain the context of the cohort. “Thanks to Elizabeth’s vision of having Job Connect Plus, we were able to work with 20 participants in helping them achieve their career goals over a 12-week program,” he explained. “We have successfully completed our very first cohort, which is the reason for the ceremony today. We are planning for four more. For any other information, obviously, you can find it on our website. But I am thrilled that we had a good amount of the participants make it through. Not only for some of them find work, but get more interviews, help them with their resumes, and ultimately achieve the goals that they were seeking to do.”

Elizabeth Goldman, Library Services Director for the City of Burbank, stated, “This is our first cohort at Job Connect Plus. It was a big effort not just for the library but also for all the participants to really engage in 12 weeks of self-directed work. What they were gonna get out of it was what they put into it. Actually, I was just speaking to one of the navigators, and she was telling me that she was tracking a list of successes for her participants. When they got a little demoralized, they could see that they had accomplished more than they believed. I thought that really hit it on the head there. Job seeking is really difficult, and getting through this program, whether or not you find a job during the 12 weeks, is a huge accomplishment. It was really worth recognizing so that’s why we wanted to bring everyone here today to have a little chance to celebrate.”

Even the honorees had perplexing backstories to their networking and job-seeking crusades. One of them, Sonia, waxed about the pros of having a mentor in her journey. “In November, the seemingly impossible happened, and I was offered a freelance job,” she said at the podium. “My first in over a decade, and even that experience was difficult. Working for a busy Chicago ad agency, I was suddenly thrown back into the deep end of fast-paced corporate life. Into a new industry with new technology and new terminology. And I was so grateful to have been enrolled in this program as that occurred. My navigator, Jay, was a tremendous support to me, helping me to navigate that intimidating experience. She offered me terrific advice on how to mentally approach the job and was an incredible cheerleader.”