SJPL Works

SJPL Works

The Program

SJPL Works is both a physical and online space that unites the expertise of our region’s top leaders in economic and workforce development, creating a hub of services and resources for employment seekers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs in order to increase economic success for San José’s workforce. The business center at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library features collaborative workspaces with technology and productivity tools, meeting spaces with videoconferencing, specialized collections and classes, and much more.

All SJPL Works programs are available virtually and in-person.

The Need

An engaged and actively employed community is a key factor in a city’s overall success. Quality of life, health, and education have all been shown to be impacted by a city ’s employment rates, and San José is no exception. The cost of living in the San José metropolitan area is one of the highest in the nation and continues to rise. Many San José residents struggle to keep up with a shifting job market and to maintain the income needed to remain in the city. SJPL Works is dedicated to helping these residents get the resources and training they need to get ahead at work, find a new job, or start a business of their own.

These programs are even more critical as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, when at least 23,000 working-age adults in San José have lost their jobs and lack the connectivity and/or computer skills to apply for benefits, seek a new job, or continue their education.

The Impact

Despite the challenges presented by a global pandemic, SJPL Works staff was able to engage with 18 partners to offer 642 programs in FY 2021-22, including:

  • Simple Steps for Starting Your Business
  • Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search
  • English & Spanish Basic Entrepreneurship Program
  • How to Apply for California State Jobs
  • Resume and Cover Letter Review
  • Interview and Networking Skills
  • Virtual Mock Interviews

These programs drew a combined 3,294 participants with 80 individuals reaching out to for one-on-one career or business consultations. Lastly, 73% of SJPL Works participants reported that they gained knowledge to help achieve their business and/or career goals.

In 2022, the Library continued the “new normal” through the use of the hybrid environment, and reaching out to those in our community who lack the digital access and/or literacy to take full advantage of SJPL Works programming. This included efforts to:

  • Increase collaboration with Family Literacy Coordinators to provide service to San José’s most vulnerable residents
  • Sharing the Library’s various career online tools (e.t. JobNow/VetNow, Coursera, and GetSetUp)

At the end of 2022, SJPL Works held a total of 768 workshops for 1,705 participants.

Slide 1
SJ Aspires
Lovebox8 Story

Born from the initiative of two Venezuelan sisters, Caryné and Tibisay Sánchez, who have lived in California for several years, Lovebox8 creates unique, customized gift boxes and celebration packages. Three years ago, the sisters prepared a surprise breakfast for their father’s birthday.

They never imagined that this surprise would be the beginning of a wonderful business adventure. After participating in SJPL Works programs for entrepreneurs, they launched their business right here in San José!

The San José Public Library Foundation was excited to enlist their services for National Library Workers Day in April 2021, when we delivered Loveboxes to the essential staff at all SJPL branches.




Program participants in 2020-2021

Reported they gained knowledge to help achieve their career goals

Workshops were held in 2021

Make A Donation

If you would like to make a gift to support this program, please visit the donate page on this website, select “Other” under “Where to Give” and indicate SJPL Works in the space provided.