CareerLink has valuable services for region’s job seekers, employers

Darla Schick finds services at PA CareerLink Lycoming County useful for her needs as human resources manager at Kidron.

The Montgomery-based company, which builds specialized insulated trailers and bodies primarily for the food industry, often taps CareerLink for job seekers and other services.

“We get a lot of employee referrals,” she said. “It’s an invaluable resource.”

The Pa CareerLink Lycoming County at 329 Pine St., Williamsport is one of seven CareerLinks in the region providing employment and training related services for companies and job seekers.

The downtown Williamsport CareerLink served nearly 4,000 people per month in the past year – with an average of 193 per day, according to Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation Finance (CPWDC) Manager Erica Mulberger.

The CPWDC, the designated Local Workforce Investment Agent for PA CareerLink Lycoming County, and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry provide funding and direct operations for CareerLink.

“Staff at the PA CareerLink provide personalized assistance to both small and large employers to help locate, recruit, screen and hire qualified candidates and assist job seekers in preparing for and locating employment and providing employment related services,” Mulberger said. “The CareerLink staff develops relationships with employers across the region to offer a range of recruitment and training services and can provide labor market information. Many of these valuable services are offered to employers at no charge.”

CareerLink posts job openings and matches resumes with employer job postings, works with companies to host recruitment events and career fairs, and helps determine training needs of employees and job seekers.

Free daily workshops cover resume preparation, interviewing skills, job search strategies, and basic computer skills.

In addition, job seekers can receive assistance in identifying training needs to match their skills with job opportunities.

Becky Espenshade, regional sales and marketing director for ManPower, an employment service agency, said she finds CareerLink to be an invaluable resource for posting jobs and participating in job fairs.

“I think we are in a good position to help each other,” she said. “They have a lot of candidates who come in who are seeking employment. We have positions from our customers looking for certain qualified candidates.”

Mulberger noted that PA CareerLink Lycoming County was chartered in May 2001.

Located for a number of years on West Third Street, Williamsport, CareerLink relocated in June 2011 to its present site on Pine Street.

Between 20 and 30 part-time and full-time employees are trained to work with employers, veterans, youths and adults, dislocated workers, and persons with learning and physical disabilities.

CareerLink staff often travel to company locations and are on hand to host events in the community, Mulberger noted.

Like many federal programs, CareerLink has faced funding cuts.

However, services are expected to continue to be offered to meet the workforce needs of the region.

Espenshade said it’s great to have an agency such as CareerLink within reach.

“Just for area people who are unemployed for the first time in their lives. They might be in their 60s or 70s. It gives them a place to go for resources and to reach out to. I think that gives people security in knowing they have a no-cost service.”