PA Secretary of Labor and Industry shares employment programs

Madeline Diamond, Assistant News Editor

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As part of a tour of Central Pennsylvania, Julia Hearthway, the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, emphasized the link between economic development and workforce development during a visit to the University on April 10.

“If you’re going to grow the economy in a region, you need a labor force to match that,” Hearthway said.

Hearthway spoke with members of the administration about several of the state’s new job support programs including JobGateway, an initiative aimed at connecting job-seekers with potential employers.

JobGateway was launched in 2012 in an effort to revamp the previous outdated website. The new website includes several tools and applications to help Pennsylvania citizens connect with potential employers. Some of the targeted users of JobGateway include students and recent graduates looking for their first jobs, as well as people affected by the most recent recession.

“JobGateway is a particular interest of mine and I think it is something that students here would find very helpful,” Hearthway said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry utilizes labor statistics to make information about which industries are currently growing accessible. To find relevant jobs, users may enter their field of interest and a location within Pennsylvania to find employers seeking candidates.

One of JobGateway’s programs that is most relevant to students is Big Interview. This web tool consists of videos, articles and virtual interview sessions that enable job-seekers to train themselves for job interviews.

“You can sit in your dorm room and practice an interview. You can replay the tape and see how you did,” Hearthway said.

During her tour of Central Pennsylvania, Hearthway also met with local businesses, including Weis Markets, and discussed their current issues. A goal of the tour was to share the Department of Labor and Industry’s programs and initiatives that benefit both employers and employees.

The Department of Labor and Industry consists of several divisions and performs many different duties, including collecting unemployment compensation from businesses, managing the court system of workers’ compensation, and enforcing labor laws.

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