Library Receives Grant to Help Get People Back to Work

The Kenton County Public Library is the recent recipient of a Dislocated Workers Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s website, the Dislocated Workers Grants are discretionary grants awarded by the Secretary of Labor, under Section 170 of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). DWGs provide resources to states and other eligible applicants to respond to large, unexpected layoff events causing significant job losses. The grant awarded to the library was $46,500 and will run through June 2021.

The Kenton County Public Library has a strong program for job seekers of all levels of employment, from entry-level to tenured professional. The library was selected because of its proven track record of success and commitment to educational and enrichment opportunities for those looking for employment or changing careers. In December 2020 alone, the library assisted more than 1,000 people through its programs, services, and classes for job seekers.

Grant funding has allowed the library to hire three part-time individuals titled Career Change Navigators. Natalie Ruppert, MLIS oversees the library’s Workforce Development program and states how this opportunity will help those in our community. “Since the pandemic disrupted so many businesses, we have more and more people every day contact us about our programs relating to employment opportunities. With the Dislocated Workers Grant, we can now double the number of staff we have to better assist jobseekers.”

Career Change Navigators are able to help individuals with:

  • Creating and updating resumés
  • Learning job search techniques
  • Developing interviewing and networking skills
  • Identifying job opportunities
  • Researching companies that are hiring
  • Suggesting library classes and courses to build their skills

The Career Change Navigators hired with this Dislocated Workers Grant bring a broad range of skills to job seekers. Nancy Knauf of Newport, Kentucky arrives at the library after a 20+ year career in marketing and advertising. She worked with Turfway Park, Cincinnati Bell, and most recently as a Kindermusik business owner and teacher. Nancy’s background in marketing will help job seekers highlight their best attributes as they look for employment.

Garry McGuire of Florence, Kentucky, has spent most of his career in the Human Resources and Employee Relations area. The last stop on his corporate career journey was with the Cincinnati Reds. Garry has hired hundreds of employees for numerous employers over the past 30 years and knows what employers are looking for in employees.

Dawn Shoemaker has been working 10+ years in library services within several different states and systems. She began her library career in Spartanburg, South Carolina, shelving books while in college and continued from there. Dawn moved from South Carolina to the Northern Kentucky area and worked at Clermont County Public Library. Beyond the library world, Dawn most recently worked for Amazon where she was a Problem Solver and Ambassador.

“I’m very excited to work with the Kenton County Public Library and bring my many years of library service experience to my role here,” said Dawn.  “I genuinely love helping people, building relationships in the community, and promoting libraries as vital parts of that community.  I believe what Kenton County Public Library has accomplished with workforce thus far is an amazing example of that, especially considering the pandemic and I am grateful to now be a part of that.”

Anyone needing more information about the Career and Job Services programs at the library, or want to meet with a Career Change Navigator please call or email:

Garry: 859-962-4033

Nancy: 859-962-4000 ext. 4206

Dawn: 859-962-4064

For a complete listing of resources, classes, job fairs and more, please visit