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PA CareerLink helps Greater Hazleton manufacturing companies receive staffing support and assistance for employee training

Food processing companies know that Greater Hazleton is a vital place for their manufacturing operations because of its strategic location near major shipping routes and the affordable cost of doing business. But what truly sets the region apart from other locations is the knowledgeable and dedicated workforce in the area.

And companies in Greater Hazleton know they can quickly and efficiently find skilled employees by partnering with the Pennsylvania CareerLink. In addition to assisting companies with all their needs in staffing open positions, businesses are eligible to receive reimbursement for providing on-the-job training and internship opportunities through PA CareerLink programs.

Cargill Meat Solutions, which operates a plant in Greater Hazleton’s Humboldt Industrial Park, has worked with the PA CareerLink’s Hazleton office for the past several years for all its staffing needs.

“The Hazleton CareerLink office has been a key link to our hiring process. All applicants apply through the CareerLink with the assistance of the staff there. CareerLink staff members have worked very closely with our hiring team to be sure that applicants receive solid information about Cargill. They are also very quick to post our positions and even quicker to send us applications,” Aaron Humes, Cargill’s Hazleton complex manager, said. “Additionally, the CareerLink staff has been a great partner for us in helping local veterans find Cargill and learn about the various opportunities that are available. The CareerLink staff is a great asset to us and I would recommend their services without reservation.”

In addition to its general staffing services, Pennsylvania CareerLink makes it affordable for businesses to train individuals through two programs that are funded by state agencies.

The On-the-Job Training (OJT) program helps companies receive some reimbursement for hiring and training eligible and skilled individuals who are unemployed or under-employed. The OJT Program is a federally-funded program and is underwritten by the PA Department of Labor through funding received by the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board, Inc. Companies that agree to train new employees for up to six months receive reimbursement for up to 50 percent of OJT wages for up to 1,040 hours.

Additionally, the CareerLink also offers a fully-funded summer internships. Through the program, companies can employ young adults ages 18 to 24 for 25 to 40 hours a week for an eight-week period at no cost to the employer. The internships are funded through the Department of Labor and Industry in partnership with the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board.

Christine Jensen, executive director of PA CareerLink Luzerne County, said the CareerLink staff is there to help companies take part in these programs. “The On-the-Job Training program can be used to train new hires in high-priority occupations,” she said. “The summer internship program gives young adults the opportunity to gain the experience they need to excel in their future career. It helps them to learn about the great companies we have right here in Greater Hazleton and how they run their operations.”

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