Cook Memorial Library has partnered with Coursera, the world’s leading online learning platform, on their Workforce Recovery Initiative to help provide unemployed workers or anyone with a desire to learn or improve their knowledge and skill sets with free access to 3,800 online courses. The initiative’s goal is to help impacted workers develop the knowledge and skills to become re-employed. Learners have until September 30, 2020 to enroll in classes; learners enrolled by then will have until the end of the year to complete their courses. As businesses lay off workers due to the abrupt economic slowdown, the world faces the biggest unemployment crisis in the modern era. The pandemic has affected the livelihoods of 2.7 billion workers globally. In the U.S. alone, jobless claims have surpassed 40 million.

Through the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative, Cook Memorial Library is able to provide learners, many of whom lack financial resources, with job-relevant online learning. The 3,800 courses on Coursera are taught by the world’s leading university and industry educators, covering critical business, technology, and data science skills. The initiative also includes Professional Certificates, like the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, designed specifically to train people for high-demand jobs. “The Cook Memorial Library, along with its partner Coursera, is ready to serve the hundreds of workers in Union County who have lost their jobs and may have a hard time returning in a slow economy,” said library director, Kip Roberson. “As an institution founded on learning, the library views this initiative as a way to help both individuals and whole communities across Union County in their efforts to alleviate the impacts of the pandemic.”

“This partnership with Coursera will help learners further their career paths and ready them to re-enter the workforce with new, valuable skills,” said Roberson. “As we work to revive our local economy from the COVID-19 pandemic, partnerships like this will help diversify our economy and create innovative opportunities for businesses and employees alike.” “We are excited to join this initiative to make online learning widely available to all Union County residents who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic or who want to learn a new skill,” Roberson continued. “With access to over 3,800 courses teaching high demand skills, I’m sure our learners will be better prepared to return into new jobs and careers.”

To become a learner with access to all courses, visit and complete the Coursera for Workforce Recovery Initiative Application Form. Once approved to become a learner, you’ll have full access to the Coursera catalog. The workforce initiative is part of the Coursera for Government offering, which was launched in 2017 to equip government employees and citizens with in-demand skills.

For more information about this and other library programs, please contact the library at 541-962-1339.