Information from Project Compass Florida:

There are more than 2 million small businesses in the state of Florida. They represent 98.9 percent of all employers and employ 42.3 percent of the private sector workforce.

Libraries are playing a leading role in developing the workforce of the 21st century. Project Compass is a nationwide effort to support public libraries as they strive to meet the urgent and growing needs of the unemployed and underemployed. This program will help public library staff increase their knowledge of available resources and handle the service needs of unemployed and job-seeking patrons. In an economy where more must be done with less, this program will also address how libraries can utilize existing resources and partnerships.

The goal of Project Compass is to support the workforce recovery efforts of libraries, particularly in counties with high unemployment. The program will introduce library staff to programs and services which they can deliver to job-seekers in their communities. Project Compass is brought to Florida public libraries by the Division of Library and Information Services, in conjunction with WebJunction/OCLC, as part of a grant funded by the Institute of Museum of Library Services.

Please check out the June 2012 Project Compass newsletter, which highlights some of the resources available to libraries to help develop and sustain small businesses in our communities.