CareerLink to cut back operating hours

Warren’s CareerLink office is cutting back its hours.

A statement sent to the Times Observer on Wednesday from Erie-based CareerLink staff stated that “On September 25, 2017 The Warren CareerLink will reduce its operating hours to 3 days per week.”

“The CareerLink Center in Warren will be open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and will be closed on Wednesdays and Fridays,” the statement said. “Individuals seeking CareerLink services on Wednesdays and Fridays may access services by contacting the CareerLink at our toll free number 844-333-5248 or signing on to our website at NWPACareerLink.org.”

The reason for the change was detailed as “in response to the CareerLink taking a proactive approach in reaching out to individuals in the communities we serve.”

That proactive approach is a mobile option that the NWPA Workforce Development Board rolled out back in May.

According to a statement from the WDB, the mobile hub will serve clients of all types – adults, dislocated workers, youth – “through static access points, workshop locations and partnerships with community-based organizations and employers.”

“The Mobile Career Link model is better because we’re proactively going to clients,” Warren County Commissioner Ben Kafferlin at the time. “As a Workforce Development Board, we’re looking at expanding services to locations and populations that are underserved.”

The statement from the WDB outlines the need for the mobile service: “The concept is not new; other states are employing similar approaches to reach clients. It can be difficult for a client to come into the PA CareerLink for services due to limited transportation options and time. The Mobile Concept will bring the services closer to clients by delivering in the local libraries, community-based organizations and potentially in employer’s conference rooms.”

“It’s especially important to rural communities, such as Tidioute or Sugar Grove, which are communities that will now be able to get service directly in their communities,” Kafferlin explained. “Similar models have dramatically increased services provided, especially among populations that have a hard time getting to physical sites.

“And, of course, let’s not lose sight of the fact that we’ll be spending less on brick-and-mortar, freeing up money to spend on job skills training and allow us to focus on high-priority jobs and cases that will keep employment local.”

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