Clarion County CareerLink Closing

pa-career-linkCLARION, Pa. (EYT) — The Clarion County PA CareerLink Center will be closing its doors in April of 2017.

(Photo by Jake Bauer)

Clarion County Commissioner Wayne Brosius confirmed that at a meeting in Meadville on Friday, the Workforce Development Board recommended to the Chief Local Elected Officials (CLEO) to terminate the lease at the Center, which is located at 627 Wood Street in Clarion.

Brosius is the Clarion County representative for the Northwest PA Local Workforce Investment Area.

It covers Clarion, Forest, Venango, Warren, Crawford, and Erie counties.

The Clarion County office has services for job seekers, employers, and veterans.

PA CareerLink Clarion County also provides resume copy services, fax services, and computer access for job seekers to perform searches online.

It also offers workshops to help people prepare resumes and get ready for interviews.

“Fiscally, it is in the red by hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Brosius said. “The cost of running the location – staff, equipment, maintenance, and upkeep – had become too much. It may be time to get rid of the brick and mortar.”

“Now, we can do much more technologically than we could in the past. There are fewer and fewer people using the location.”

Brosius said he did not know how many people worked at the Wood Street office but noted that the office closing did not necessarily mean people would lose their jobs.

The Clarion office is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday.

While it remains to be seen how many people might be looking for work when the office closes in April, it will mean those who received services from the Clarion office may have to travel to Oil City, Marienville, Tionesta, or Warren.

The Oil City and Warren offices maintain the same hours as the Clarion office.

The office in Tionesta is open from 9:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. every third Thursday of the month and the one in Marienville is open every third Thursday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Brosius explained that the state requires one location in the five-county area and that currently there are five.

“We spoke with Labor and Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino at a meeting last month in Harrisburg, and she seemed to be in agreement with this,” Brosius said.

For now, Brosius said there is a lot of work to be done before the office closes.

“We have to decide the best route to take to continue to offer services and do the best for the workforce,” Brosius said.

Behind that effort is Partners for Performance, a non-profit agency established in March 2014 after the reorganization of The Regional Center for Workforce Excellence (RCWE) established in 2000.

PFP is the program oversight agency of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program and other federally funded workforce development initiatives in Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Venango, and Warren counties.

WIA programs are designed to provide training (or retraining) to individuals that align and meet the critical skill needs of regional employers.

PA CareerLinks are the “one-stop” employment centers that provide direct services to address the needs of jobseekers and employers searching for qualified job applicants. Services and programs can be tailored to meet the specific needs of job seekers and employers.

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