Business and Jobs

Listed below are government resources available to help with your job search and with starting and maintaining a business.  The library periodically offers job searching workshops and business development seminars so make sure to check the OPL calendar regularly for upcoming programs.

Job Searching

Occupational Outlook Handbook

This publication, located on the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website, is good place to start when looking for information about specific jobs.

On the home page you will find an index and a listing of different professions.  Click on the profession you’re interested in.  This will take you to a page that lists information such as salary, future employment outlook, education and training needed for that particular job, and a general overview of what the job entails.

From this web address you can also access the Bureau of Labor Statistics website which has information on state and county employment; earnings by industry; unemployment information; and wages by area and occupation.  You can find this information by moving your cursor over the Subject Areas tab then clicking on the topic you’d like to explore.  Clicking on the Economic Releases tab will lead you to information on employment projections for different areas of the United States.

The Main Library and several branches have print copies of the Occupational Outlook Handbook under the call number 371.425.

CalJOBS from the California Employment Development Department

This is another great place to start when looking for employment. The site provides information for all job seekers and is organized by categories such as Older Workers, People with Disabilities, Veterans, and Youth. 

The Job Seeker Information link provides access to an Online Job Center which lists various job fairs and workshops to help you with your job search.  Computer classes are also listed in this section.  The Online Job Center lists job openings and allows you to search by state, company name, and area of interest.  You will also find resume tools to help with your resume, links to salary information, and information for filing unemployment claims.

To search for jobs

  • Click on Job Seekers on the left side of the page.
  • Click on Online Job Center (highlighted in blue). 
  • Scroll down to Find a Job, then click on Job Central.  If you’d like to search jobs by state, click on this link in the Job Seekers box.  This will lead to a map of the United States.
  • Click on California or whichever state you’d like to search.  This will take you to a page of Major Metropolitan areas.
  • Click on the city where you’d like to work.  This will tell you which companies are recruiting in your particular area. You will also see a link to other resources for the city you selected.  This is where you will find individual job listings. 
  • If you are searching in Oakland, click on OaklandCalifornia.jobs.

LaborMarketInfo

This site is maintained by the State of California Employment Development Department and provides information on jobs by region, average salaries by job and much more.  This is a good site to search if you’re trying to determine what type of job is best for you.

To explore career options:

  • Click on Job Seekers.  This will take you to a section where you can take a self-assessment, explore how much money you need to make to maintain your lifestyle, and explore career options searching the California Occupational Guides.  You may also access the Green Occupational Guides from this section.

Jobs with the Federal Government

This site lists jobs available with the federal government.  You can search by Job Title, Agency Name and/or Salary Range, and Location.  Click on the Advanced Search button to begin searching and fill out the information that best matches your job needs.

Starting and Running a Business

Alameda County Small Business Development Center (ACSBDC)

The ACSBDC offers free counseling and a variety of business seminars throughout the East Bay to help you start and maintain your business.  Many of the classes offered through the Oakland Business Assistance Center are provided by the Alameda County Small Business Development Center.  The website also contains information on obtaining licenses and permits, sample business plans and tips for writing your own plans, hiring employees, business forms, insurance, taxes, and marketing.  From the home page, click on Business Topics for all this information and more.

Oakland Business Assistance Center

The Oakland Business Assistance Center is a one-stop information and referral center for business owners and those wishing to start a business.  This site contains a wealth of information, including information about free workshops, classes, and events to help you start and maintain your business.

To learn more about starting your own business:

  • Click on Starting a New Business on the left side of the home page. 
  • Next click on Decide if Your Are Ready to Start a Business to take an Assessment test provided by the Small Business Administration. 
  • If you want to learn more about markets for your business click on Starting a New Business.
  • Then click on Determine if There is a Market for Your Business.  If you scroll to the bottom of this page you will also find a link to Useful Resources at Oakland Public Library.

To find business plans:

  • Click on Starting a New Business.
  • Click on Plan Your Business.
  • Click on Business Plan Templates.  This will lead you to the Small Business Administration’s website where you will find business plan templates and instructions. 

To find information about obtaining an Oakland business license:

  • Click on Starting a New Business and scroll down to Get an Oakland Business License.

The physical center is located at 270 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza.  The center has a computer available for doing business research and full-time staff members are available to help navigate city government and to provide referrals to help business owners and prospective business owners.

IRS: Small Business and Self-Employment One Stop Resource

This website has much information for helping you to start and manage a business and to find resources for business taxes.  The URL listed above will take you to the Small Business and Self Employed Tax Center where you will find forms and publications for taxes and tax information for starting, operating, and closing a business.  There is also an IRS Video Portal which contains numerous videos and podcasts to help you better understand business taxes.  The video portal may be accessed in Spanish and English.

Click on the Small Business Tab then look to the right of page to find the video portal.  The various topics are revealed in the left column.  You will also find here a link to the Small Biz Workshop which is comprised of nine interactive lessons to help small business owners understand their tax rights and responsibilities.

The home page for the IRS is www.irs.gov.  If you click on the Businesses Tab you will find a link to Starting a Business on the upper left side of the page.  This will give you information about how to determine if you’re ready to start a business and a checklist to help you with your business planning.

Small Business Administration

Here you will also find much information to help you with your business planning.  The link above will take you to the homepage.  Click on the Starting and Managing a Business tab for information about Writing a Business Plan, Loans, Grants, and Funding, Importing and Exporting, and a list of Business Guides by Industry.

From the home page, if you click on the Counseling and Training tab and look under the section called Online Small Business Training and click on Starting a Business you will find a series of Podcasts that offer guidance for starting a business.  Free Online Courses are also offered within this section.

To use the Loans and Grants Search Tool to determine if you qualify for grants:

  •  Click on the Loans and Grants tab near the top of the page.
  • Scroll down to the Grants section.
  • Click on Find Grants. 
  • Answer the questions in the Loans and Grants Search Tool, making sure to use the drop down menus to choose an Industry and State where requested, then click Search. 
  • Your results will appear under the Business Loans, Grants and Financing Results near the top of the page.  

California State Contracts Register

This site allows you to view bidding opportunities in California and to view statewide contracts and a list of certified firms.

To search for bidding opportunities:

  • Click on the Bidding Opportunities Tab.  This will lead you to a drop-down list of options. 
  • Click on View CSCR Ads to view a list of current bids for California. 
  • If you’re interested in bidding opportunities in other states, search the drop-down menu on the left of the page below the sections Title and Description and Bid #.  The menu defaults to California, but if you click on the arrow you can select other states. 

The site allows you to view bids from 2003-present.

Contracting with the Federal Government

This site provides the information you need for contracting with the federal government and has many tutorials available within the site.  Click on the Getting Started tab to access videos that explain the site.  After clicking on this tab, a good place to start is with the General Overview and Searching for Opportunities link.  This will take you to a Vendors Training Session tutorial which explains how to best use the site and search for opportunities.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance lists all of the federal programs available to state and local governments, organizations, institutions, groups, and individuals. 

To search the database:

  • Click on the Program tab.
  • Click on Advanced Search to search by Assistance Type, Eligibility and/or Deadline.  For example, if you’d like to search for a direct loan for your small business in the area of food and nutrition, click on the arrow in the box under Assistance Types for the drop-down menu. 
  • From the menu, choose Direct Loans. 
  • Then click on the arrow in the box under Applicant Eligibility and choose Small Business.
  • Finally, click on the arrow in the box under Use of Assistance and choose Food and Nutrition.
  • Then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and click on Search. 
  • This will give you a listing of programs providing the type of assistance you selected. 
  • To learn more about the program, click on the magnifying glass icon. 
  • You may also click on the empty box to save your selection(s) to excel.

The Main Library has a print copy of the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance in the Ready Reference section.  Please ask a librarian for assistance.

EDGAR (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) Database

The Securities and Exchange Commission requires quarterly and various filings from companies doing business in the United States.  You can access these filings free of charge in the EDGAR website.  Click on Search Company Filings, then enter the name of the company for which you would like information.

You will also find an EDGAR tutorial at the above address, which will give you tips for searching the site.