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Helping hands: CareerLink helps job seekers find employment

Finding a new job can be a challenging process. To improve the likelihood of finding employment quickly, job seekers can take advantage of the free career services and resources offered by Pennsylvania CareerLink Centre County in Bellefonte.

During the CareerLink spring and fall job fairs, job seekers have the opportunity to meet with 30 employers in a single afternoon. The next job fair will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Thursday, April 14 at Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology, 540 N. Harrison Road, Pleasant Gap. Veterans can arrive at 9:30 a.m..

Additional recruitment events for individual employers are scheduled throughout the year at the CareerLink office, 240 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte.

CareerLink offers services to all members of the community and has specific program services available for in-school youth, out-of-school young adults, veterans, persons with disabilities, dislocated workers and other adults.

Staff workforce specialists help job seekers with one-on-one career planning by appointment. They address individual customer needs, such as how to transition into a new career or overcome barriers to employment, and can refer customers to other agencies as needed.

Job seekers can use the computers in the Career Resource Area to create resumes and cover letters, fill out job applications, and check online job postings. Staff are available to answer questions and help customers create JobGateway accounts.

The website, launched by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry in 2012, lists approximately 200,000 job openings, and offers a job matching service for employers and prospective employees. Job seekers can apply for jobs through JobGateway. Employers post job announcements on the website and search the resume database for prospective employees.

The CareerLink priority phone line to the Unemployment Compensation Call Center offers short wait times for callers filing for benefits or seeking information.

The free CareerLink classes include: job search techniques, interviewing, resumes and cover letters, employment goals, customer service skills, government jobs, Penn State applications, job fair preparation and employment with a criminal background. Classes are also available on personal finances topics and an introduction to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

CareerLink has limited on-the-job training funds to assist qualified adults and youth to obtain new skills that require hands-on learning. Job seekers younger than 25 may qualify for paid work experiences, similar to internships, at no cost to the employers. Limited funding is available for short-term post-secondary training in high priority occupations.

For more information, call 548-7587, or visit CareerLink 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on other weekdays.

Karen Dabney is a a business services representative for PA CareerLink Centre County. She can be reached at