If you hear the term “we’ve gone mobile” from a business, that usually means that they are no longer going to have a “brick and mortar” office. They still offer services, but you aren’t sure where they are located.
Take for instance Career Link. At one time they had an office for Clarion County located in Clarion. It was a descendant of an old-fashioned “unemployment” office where you either went to look for a job or signed up for unemployment benefits if you didn’t have a job.
Over the years, most of those services are now offered online, but the Career Link offices put a few faces in an office that you could also connect with.
Even though it no longer has an office, Career Link services have a second life through a mobile approach and NWPA Job Connect.
“There is no physical Career Link building in Clarion County,” said Carmine Camillo, mobile manager for Title One Services. “The services are now delivered by a mobile team that I oversee for the entire six county Northwest Workforce Development area — Erie, Crawford, Venango, Clarion, Forest and Warren counties.”
Now six months into the switch to mobile services, Camillo thinks there are gradual improvements over the old physical office system.
“I think we’re getting better every day,” Camillo continued. “As the word starts to spread that we are still here, and we are more convenient for you now and we can meet you wherever you want. We were just in Clarion a couple of weeks ago and met with Clarion University, IU6 and the county commissioners.”
Although Career Link doesn’t have a building, they do have a phone number — 1-844-333-5248 — and anyone can call for services and a one-on-one appointment with staff.
“The whole point of being mobile is we can meet you wherever and whenever it is convenient,” Camillo continued. “Someone will answer the toll free number and ask a lot of questions and what is it that we can do for you. They can answer the questions over the phone or meet Career Link at various scheduled locations, but if that doesn’t work for you we’re happy to make an appointment and visit you.”
There is a Career Link meeting every Wednesday at the Clarion Mall across from the old Kmart and they are at the Small Business Development Center at the Barnes Center every Tuesday holding workshops. Career Link also holds workshops in various places, including the Clarion Free Library and in New Bethlehem.
“We’re trying to work with several of the libraries in Clarion County to host workshops. It will be a revolving circuit when we will be in the library one week here, one week there, and all on different topics. Topics could include anything from what is the Career Link to resume writing and even basic computing skills.”
Mobile and flexibility are the key words for the new Career Link.
“If they can’t make it out to the Clarion Mall on a Wednesday, they can meet us in Rimersburg at 2 p.m. At the same time, depending on where you live in Clarion County, if you’re heading to Tionesta one day and if you have something going on there, we can meet you in Forest County. If you have to go into Oil City for any reason, we can also meet you there.”
Camillo will have a staff of 10 when he completes training, and the caseworkers will travel around the six counties in the region.
“We have facilitators that run the workshops and engage sessions. We have facilitators that are dedicated to youth, adults and dislocated workers. We have a combination of staff that can meet different constituents. For example, our staff is engaged with conducting workshops for the Kmart workers laid off. The workshops include how to polish a resume, how to prepare an interview, and that kind of thing.”
For more information for both employers and potential employees, use the toll free number or go to Career Link’s webpage at wpajobconnect.org.