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Nevadans redefining themselves through available library programs

Posted at 7:10 PM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 22:10:17-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nevada's unemployment rate remains one of the highest in the country. And after months of looking for work, people are trying to redefine their lives and livelihoods.

Currently, a Colombian love story is helping show what kind of help there is in Las Vegas at the Clark County Library District.

"I am happily married, and I'm enjoying my new life in this beautiful city," Gloria McCutchen said.

Gloria McCutchen's smile comes easy as she talks about her husband, their dogs, and life together, but the smiles belie a constant struggle she faces ever since moving from Columbia.

"I am 45 years old, and it's not easy," she said.

McCutchen is one of the students trying to learn English at the library.

English as a Second Language is just part of the career services being offered at the Clark County Library, and the pandemic is causing a surge of interest.

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"It's not teenagers or people in their 20s we're seeing, we've had several in their 30s," Jill Hersha, literacy manager at the library, said.

These are people who are figuring out how to redefine their life during the pandemic.

"They know that this is one of the gateways for whatever career path they choose," Hersha said.

People have lost their jobs, and Hersha says there is a sense, especially among those in the entertainment and restaurant industries, that their jobs may have disappeared for good.

"We have seen a huge increase in those interested in earning a high school equivalency with a high school diploma program," Hersha said.

Those are often needed to qualify for training and certificate programs or apprenticeships.

For McCutchen, she says she is looking to expand her business in the US.

McCutchen has a master's degree in her native Columbia and clients for her cybersecurity company but knows she needs to improve her English to have success locally.

"You learn English; you open all doors," she said.

Hersha says whatever your career goals, the library is an excellent source to help you get there even during a pandemic.

For information on the career services offered at the library is available here.