WorkLaunch Offers Pathways to Meaningful Employment for Local Job Seekers
Despite low unemployment, regional job seekers participate in programs to improve skills and employability
Free work readiness events seek to address the changing needs of the regional workforce, including issues such as unemployment, underemployment, career transitions, and workforce reentry.
With historically low unemployment rates in the region, this year’s WorkLaunch events aim to help job seekers who are employed but struggling to find full-time, higher paying jobs, as well as those transitioning into new careers.
Hosted by JFCS Career Development Center in partnership with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, WorkLaunch’s fifth year of events will take place from March 9th through April 3rd at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Oakland and other locations as noted.
Workshops and speakers will cover relevant topics such as unemployment compensation, side-gig economy and independent contracting, career transitions after 50, and successful networking. Attendees can also participate in brief career counseling sessions and career development support groups.
“Our regional economy is strong, but there are still workers in Pittsburgh who are struggling to earn enough to sustain their families,” says Sarah Cole Welch, Director of JFCS Career Development Center. “WorkLaunch is designed not only to help unemployed individuals understand the job search but also to help underemployed individuals access better opportunities and meaningful work.”
After 2019’s WorkLaunch events, nearly 40% of participants who responded in surveys reported that they had started working or had upcoming job interviews. “I just finished a short screening phone call for a position… and am feeling more hopeful than I have in quite some time,” Linda, a WorkLaunch participant, reported.
This year, WorkLaunch will wrap up the workshops and events with the annual Career & Community Resource Fair, which will be held on April 3rd from 11am to 1pm. The career fair will feature over 25 regional employers from a variety of fields. “No other area event provides job seekers with as many valuable resources to help them connect with local employers,” said Wes Roberts, Library Services Manager at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. “In fact, for the last two years, two-thirds of participants reported that meeting employers was the most helpful aspect of WorkLaunch.”