By Samantha Raphelson.
The New York Public Library lends out much more than just books, and now that includes clothes. The library’s Riverside branch on the West Side of Manhattan is testing a pilot program that allows patrons to borrow neckties, briefcases and handbags – provided they have fines of less than $15 on their library cards. The idea is to help people with limited resources get access to suitable clothing and accessories for job interviews, graduations and other formal events, according to the library website.
The “Grow Up Work Fashion Library” was created by Michelle Lee, a young adult librarian at the Riverside branch who works with students at a nearby high school to prepare for job interviews, says Kimberly Spring, network manager of the Riverside area of branches for the New York Public Library.
- Rolling Stone: Death of the American Trucker
- The Atlantic: Images of Disappearing Jobs
- The Economist: Politicians Cannot Bring Back Old Fashioned Factory Jobs
- NPR: How Germany Wins At Manufacturing – For Now
- The Atlantic: Filling America’s Six Million Job Vacancies
- HBR: How to Create Good Blue-Collar Jobs in the Knowledge Economy
- WEF: Life in 2018 as Predicted by People in 1918
By David Michael Newstead.
The factory worker sat across from me and described life as it is: tariffs, competition, the union’s last ditch efforts to forestall the inevitable. He had no illusions. In Pittsburgh, he said, there are already totally automated facilities being piloted – factories with no workers at all. His boss told him about it. While some people talk about factory workers being retrained to be software developers or nurses, this guy is watching the reality play out. It’s already arrived. And it consists of middle-aged guys hanging on by a thread as manufacturing and the world around them changes irrevocably. His laid-off former coworkers become Uber drivers, he said. Not many other opportunities in the area, he said. People love manufacturing, you know. They love to talk about it and reminisce about the good old days. Every election it comes up like people just realized it wasn’t 1940. But really it’s because manufacturing has become shorthand for job opportunities for regular people. Except what if that stopped being true? Like I said, the factory worker had no illusions. He can’t pay his rent with tales from the glorious past and he knows it. He and his family have a plan. Everyone else he works with might not. That hypothetical training isn’t free. Those new careers aren’t nearby. The transitions are already well underway: for them and for the rest of us. But thinking and talking about the economy in a different way could end up being the most difficult.