CareerLink gives job seekers and employers avenue to connect – Daily American Online

Employers needing employees and individuals needing jobs: Connecting the two is just what Pennsylvania CareerLink Somerset County is here to do.
“We’re a group of partners under one roof helping individuals find employment,” said Jeff Dick, site administrator for the Department of Labor & Industry, Workforce Partnership & Operations for PA CareerLink. “We concentrate on re-employment, not unemployment.”
The mission of PA CareerLink Somerset County is to provide comprehensive, market-driven employment, training, education and economic development services to customers. CareerLink’s goal is to be the main source for those needing solutions to employment, education and workforce issues. It provides on-site career preparation and supportive services to customers by helping to figure out solutions to employers and job seekers’ training needs.
Pennsylvania CareerLink Somerset County is at 6022 Glades Pike, Suite 100, Somerset. Their number is 814-445-4161.
CareerLink offers basic and individualized career services. Basic career services are self-directed and available to the public. For individualized career services, a career planner helps by figuring out the job seeker’s skills, interests and employment goals, then develops a plan to achieve those goals.
“When an individual comes in, they meet with a member of the welcome team to assess what the needs are to gain employment,” Dick said. “We see if there is a skills gap and offer training. We talk to employers to see what they need and talk to the people to see what skills they have to offer.”
More:Help wanted: Where to look for a new job, or career, in Somerset County.
Dick said it could be as basic as helping a person update their resume or setting up mock interviews to give pointers for a more successful interview.
“We’re not a placement agency,” he said. “We give the individuals the tools and access to obtain employment. We’re not getting them the job but providing the tools they’ll need and we give them leads to obtaining a job.”
Basic career services include: enrollment onto the PA CareerLink website; use of computers and internet for job searching; labor market information; access to job fairs; various job search workshops; and orientation on available services.
Individualized career services include: assessment; development of an employment plan; resume writing; mock interviewing; career development; case management; job shadowing; on the job training opportunities; classroom training; adult and dislocated worker transitional work experience program; paid work experiences — young adults ages 16 to 24; industry tours for ages 14 to 24; CareerSafe online courses; job retention skills; one-on-one career counseling and job search assistance.
“We work with the individual from the beginning through getting employment and one year beyond the beginning of the employment,” Dick said. “We maintain employment guidance through the early stages.”
CareerLink offers workshops for individuals to learn more skills or to improve their skills. The workshops include: interviewing, job applications, employer expectations, effective job hunting, job search using social media, civil service, resume writing, Northstar Digital Literacy computer classes, mature workers and criminal background.
“They are free. They provide information for veterans, youth and young adults getting into the workforce and trying to find a career path,” Dick said.
More:Careerlink opens new office
CareerLink of Somerset County has a special Career Resource Center that provides resources to assist job seekers with their search. CRC also has desk top computers equipped with high speed internet that may be used for any aspect of the job search process. Specialized computers with assistive technology are available for use by individuals with hearing, vision or dexterity impairments. In addition to having access to the search engine,, job seekers also have access to other online job search sites, can complete online applications and can create and print resumes, cover letters and thank-you letters.
The CRC offers: paper applications for local employers; faxing service for unemployment compensation and job related; materials at no cost to customer; up to date Labor Market Information; local daily newspapers; brochures on local community services; literature on local education programs; schools and services and veterans information.
The remedial students approach can make sure the job seeker has the training to get into the available place of employment, Dick said.
On the job training is designed to provide eligible candidates the knowledge and skills necessary for long-term. It also provides reimbursement to employers for the costs of training individuals who do not possess all of the skills required at the time of hire.
“This is a paid work experience where we pay the salary for 10 weeks,” Dick said. “Somebody coming out of corrections or hasn’t worked for a long time, this helps them get a job.”
Dick said CareerLinks partners for the programs include Tableland Services, Bureau Workforce, Partnership and Operation, adult literacy and GED at the Somerset County Technology Center and Office Vocational Rehabilitation for those job seekers with disabilities.
More:Trainee became owner of business he trained at
The training has several advantages to the employer:
Advantages to the job seekers:
The employer will receive 50% reimbursement of wages while the seeker is job training, for up to six months at $14.37 per hour.
“This is a benefit to both the employer and the job seekers,” Dick said. “We look for a high priority occupation for the area from the Department of Labor. Wages are important to make sure it is a family sustaining wage and in an occupation that is growing. We don’t want to train somebody for a job that is no longer showing growth in the area.”
Individual Training Accounts are a form of financial assistance available to PA CareerLink® registered customers who are found to be both eligible and suitable for individualized services. Individuals looking to pursue training after high school/GED with a program of two years or less in duration may apply. The requirements for ITA include:
“SkillUp PA is a new online portal that offers all kinds of training options. And it’s free,” Dick said. “It’s a really good program. Some of the training is really in depth.”
The online learning platform offers more than 6,000 training models and 130 industry recognized credentials. They range from basic work readiness skills for new workers to tailored training for high-level professional and managers.
Course offerings include customer service, Microsoft Office, Adobe, Quick Books, analytical skills, data management/reporting, time management, leadership skills, health and safety and first aid. Courses are available by registering for a free account on the PA CareerLink website:
Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced in-person services for Unemployment Compensation (UC) claimants are now available by appointment at all PA CareerLink® centers throughout the commonwealth. In total, 58 PA CareerLink® centers are accepting appointments to assist claimants with their cases.Dick said those needing assistance must schedule an appointment.
“The Unemployment Compensation system plays a critical role in making certain that Pennsylvanians and their families stay financially afloat in times of need. By expanding in-person assistance and availability to all CareerLink offices, L&I continues to fulfill its mission of serving all Pennsylvanians facing economic hardship — and that begins with directly addressing the challenges faced by underserved populations and ensuring equitable access to UC services,” said Berrier.
The in-person services are the direct result of funding the department received in March through a $6.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, designed specifically to promote equitable access to UC programs and remove barriers some populations face in securing services. Since the program’s launch in May, L&I has used this federal funding to serve and assist more than 4,500 UC claimants across Pennsylvania.
In-person services for UC claimants are designed to assist individuals who do not have proper technology, equipment, or technical skills; individuals without access to home Internet or broadband; and individuals with limited-English proficiency. To schedule an appointment, contact CareerLink.


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