WorkLaunch: Career Connections and Workshops was a three-day, six-site county-wide career event designed to connect the Pittsburgh community to workforce and supportive resources. Through the partnership of Career Development Center of JF&CS and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, WorkLaunch debuted April 5th, 6th and 7th at several library locations throughout Allegheny County. The innovative, all-in-one career workshop series was designed to target all jobseekers throughout the region, and offered programming inclusive of employment issues faced by recent college graduates, veterans, mature workers, refugees and immigrants, single parents and those on the autism spectrum or who have a diagnosed mental health disorder.
WorkLaunch provided jobseekers the opportunity to engage and connect with more than 20 area employers, education and training providers, among them University of Pittsburgh, Allegheny Health Network, UPMC, Giant Eagle, and CCAC. Attendees learned about job search resources provided by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Career Development Center and valuable skills in workshops on resume development, interviewing, networking and other career readiness topics.
“The WorkLaunch series extends beyond that of the average career fair or workshop. Job search culture has changed tremendously in a short period of time, and now jobseekers have to be able to understand the nuances of looking for work, utilize all facets of technology and all resources at their disposal,” said Sarah Welch, Director of the Career Development Center. “Applying for a job is about more than sending out a resume in an email or filling out an online application; it’s about making personal connections with potential employers, engaging people in your story and building relationships that lead to career opportunities.”
This first WorkLaunch series was attended by almost 200 participants, among them refugees, veterans, single parents and individuals living with disabilities. Seventy-five percent of those who filled out the survey reported being unemployed or underemployed.
“I really enjoyed my day. When I first arrived, I was a little nervous since I haven’t looked for a job in 10 years,” said one participant. “Your staff made me feel comfortable and confident. I learned so much and it was great talking with the recruiters during the employer networking sessions. I found the one-on-one time, presentations, and the encouragement as that commercial says…PRICELESS.”