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Sumner Library- Open Door Learning Center

Partner Agencies: Sumner Library, Minnesota Literacy Council
Location: 611 Van White Memorial Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55411
Site Supervisor: Thomas Redd, Patron Experience Supervisor

CTEP Program Description

The AmeriCorps Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) bridges the “digital divide” for new immigrants and low-income communities in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. Join AmeriCorps CTEP and help make the information age accessible to all. CTEP is a project of Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN).

Site History and Mission

The Minnesota Literacy Council and Sumner Library have a long-standing partnership serving the community in North Minneapolis. The literacy council manages six Open Door Learning Center locations throughout the Twin Cities, which provide free Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes. The Northside location is one of the literacy council's longest-running ABE sites, and has been based at Sumner since 1983.

The mission of the Minnesota Literacy Council is to share the power of learning through education, community building and advocacy. We envision literate communities in which all residents have full access to quality learning and service opportunities that will enable them to contribute and reach their full potential.

Sumner Library seeks to engage with our patrons, building strength and health by providing library services that reflect and respond to community diversity; quickly recognizing and responding to changing communities and demographics; and deepening community engagement and collaborations.

Preferred Site Schedule for Member

The majority of the CTEP's on-site work will take place Monday-Thursday from 11:00am-6:00pm, with a few additional hours that can be completed on a flexible schedule.

In addition, members attend professional development days with their fellow CTEP members to enhance service-readiness skills, personal attributes at the service site, and citizenship skills. These mandatory training days take place twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Fridays from 9:00am-4:00pm. Members may also attend statewide AmeriCorps events.

Specific Site Responsibilities

The CTEP will lead basic computer skills classes for Open Door students, and will provide one-on-one assistance to library patrons with computer skills, job searches and applications, and resume building. They will be working primarily with adults, and employment-aged youth on occasion. There will be a mix of native and non-native English speakers.

The ideal candidate should possess:

  • Sensitivity and respect for people from diverse communities
  • Strong computer and emerging technology skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong customer service ethic
  • Willingness to learn
  • Enthusiasm for teaching
  • Creativity

Responsibilities of the CTEP AmeriCorps member will include:

  • Teach and develop curriculum for technology and computer skills classes
  • Provide one-on-one job search assistance
  • Train and support volunteers to support computer lab participants
  • Provide one-on-one coaching and assistance to computer users and job seekers
  • Support job seekers in writing resumes, creating cover letters, completing online job applications, and searching for job leads
  • Create support materials, such as handouts and templates, for job seekers
  • Administer Northstar Digital Literacy Assessments
  • Track program outcomes

Site Environment

Open Door is located in the lower level of the Sumner Library. The CTEP will split their time between working one-on-one with patrons upstairs in the library and working in a classroom setting with students downstairs at Open Door. Both Open Door and Sumner Library are active, energetic environments with a strong sense of community. Many of the residents in the Northside community are facing the results of poverty and the digital divide, requiring a lot of hands-on assistance for people to gain the technological literacy needed for today's workforce.

A CTEP who is bilingual in both English and Somali would be especially well-suited to serving individuals who attend classes through Open Door, as in 2018 over 70% of our students listed Somali as their primary language. Similar to Open Door, library patrons' primary languages vary, with many Somali-speakers using the library's services.

Our site is directly on a public bus line (route 19). It is also very close to routes 5 and 22. The C Line will also go by our site when it starts running. The CTEP will not be required to have a vehicle.

How to Apply

Apply online at my.americorps.gov and click on “Apply to Serve” (be sure to search for the “Community Technology Empowerment Project” or “CTEP” when asked to indicate what program you would like to send your application to). Contact: Joel Krogstad, krogstad@spnn.org or 651.298.8918.

We are committed to recruiting and engaging individuals without regard to disability, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. Reasonable accommodations will be made upon request. Alternative formats of this document are also available.