The Lehigh Valley’s state-funded workforce investment organization is rolling out new initiatives aimed at getting people hired and, hopefully, promoted once their foot’s in the door.
One of the new efforts from Workforce Board Lehigh Valley starts this week, called Employer Wednesday. It involves local businesses sending out hiring representatives to meet one-on-one with job seekers.
The nonprofit board announced the start of the Employer Wednesday during a news conference this past Wednesday, which also included the unveiling of maps for advancement at local employers. These career pathways lay out the skills, education and experience for positions from entry-level to executive. They are available through the board’s website, lvwib.org, and are published below this article in Wednesday’s presentation.
Both initiatives are in addition to Pennsylvania’s redesigned CareerLink websites that launched two weeks ago, according to state Department of Labor and Industry spokeswoman Sarah DeSantis. The PA CareerLink Lehigh Valley website is careerlinklehighvalley.org.
As the Lehigh Valley and state recover from the outset of the coronavirus pandemic in spring, which forced businesses to close then face limits upon reopening, local unemployment stands at 10.3%. That’s from the most recent figures, for August, which marked the return of more than half the jobs lost since Lehigh Valley unemployment peaked in April at 16.7%. The September numbers are scheduled for release Tuesday.
Unemployment compensation claims are averaging 24,562, also about half of what they were at the height of the pandemic in May, according to Gina Kormanik, business relations director for Workforce Board Lehigh Valley.
As of August, Lehigh and Northampton counties had 35,800 people unemployed but actively seeking employment. Local employers in August were offering 6,134 online job postings, up from 5,254 in August 2019, the Workforce Board says.
“We want everyone to know we are open for business,” Workforce Board Lehigh Valley Executive Director Nancy Dischinat said during Wednesday’s news conference. “Anyone looking for a job, we are certainly here to help them, and employers looking for workers, we are certainly here to help them.”
This week’s Employer Wednesday announced during the news conference features Bakerly, a commercial bakery owned by France-based Norac at 4300 E. Braden Blvd. in Forks Township. Bakerly will be looking to meet with prospective employees Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 9 to 11 a.m. at PA CareerLink Lehigh Valley, 555 Union Blvd. in Allentown, and noon to 2 p.m. at the Workforce Board’s Easton Employment & Training Center, 27 E. Third St. Apply online at careerlinklehighvalley.org/employer-spotlight.
Bakerly has numerous positions open for job seekers to join Norac’s global workforce of 5,700 in a company that exceeded $1 billion in revenue last year, according to Brian Regnier, Bakerly’s chief financial officer.
Future Employer Wednesday events being lined up feature FedEx Ground, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Allentown PA CareerLink location, followed by Nestle Waters on Nov. 11, with time and location to be announced.
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Kurt Bresswein may be reached at email@example.com.