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Work force summit planned

October 23, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

Work force summit planned



CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County employers are being invited to attend a work force development summit on Thursday to learn about local initiatives to help businesses get the skilled workers they need.

Among the efforts to be highlighted are the Team Pennsylvania CareerLink, which offers a Web site where employers and prospective employees can find each other, said L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp. and an organizer of the event.

A common problem among firms up and down the Interstate 81 corridor, particularly those in high-tech fields, is finding enough skilled workers to take jobs in their companies.

Through the Team Pennsylvania CareerLink Web site, a local company can list the types of positions it has open and the qualifications required for the jobs, Ross said. The advantage to listing the openings on the Web site is that local companies could find employers from across the state or the country, Ross said.

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People seeking employment also can list their names and skills on the site in hopes of being hired by a local firm, Ross said. For example, a computer expert from as far away as Philadelphia could put information on the Web site to shop for jobs locally, Ross said.

The Team Pennsylvania CareerLink, which will operate from 600 Norland Ave. in Chambersburg, will be unveiled during a summit at St. Paul's United Methodist Church at 750 Norland Ave.

The summit begins at 8 a.m. and runs until noon. Economic development officials will highlight other employment assistance programs, including an initiative under which employers can be reimbursed for training they offer to employees, according to Ross.

Under the initiative, employers can receive a 50 percent wage reimbursement to help offset the training, Ross said.

The money for the reimbursements is made possible by the federal Workforce Investment Act, Ross said.

A similar wage reimbursement program that will be highlighted during the summit is WEBNET, which is administered locally by Shippensburg University, according to Ross.

Ross said he is concerned that there is a perception sometimes that not enough is being done to help employers get the skilled workers they need.

"The fact is, there are a number of programs for employers to take advantage of. And I think that's a message we need to send out there sometimes," Ross said.

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