Chesco reaching out to longtime unemployed

Chester County is looking for longtime job-seekers to participate in a promising program that debuted last summer.

The Chester County Commissioners and the Chester County Workforce Development Board have opened up registration for county residents interested in participating in the county’s second Platform to Employment (P2E) program, according to a county press release.

The recruitment follows the completion of Chester County’s pilot P2E program, introduced last July. P2E provides job readiness training, personal support services, finance counseling and paid work experience with the intent to secure jobs for individuals who have experienced long-term unemployment – 27 weeks or more – in Chester County, the release said.

P2E is a five-week preparatory program, created by Connecticut-based “The Work Place,” to address the need for the long-term unemployed to return to work and the employers’ need to recruit skilled workers. Chester County’s commitment to this program was the first in Pennsylvania.

“I am excited that Chester County continues to be a leader in helping the long-term unemployed return to work,” Joe Carbone, the Work Place’s president and CEO, said in the release.

Carbone said the continuation of the program expands hope and opportunity for workers in the region. “Our inaugural program, launched last year, is on track to place 80 percent of participants, mirroring the P2E experience across the country,” he said in the release. “The partnerships we have established in the region, especially with the Chester County Workforce Development Board, are a model of effective collaboration.”

Chester County residents who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more are invited to complete an online application for entry into the next P2E program. Details of eligibility, the requirements for acceptance into Chester County’s P2E program, and the application can be found at www.platformtoemployment.com (click on the “apply here” button, then the Chester County, Pa., button). Space is limited to 25 people, all of whom will be subject to a selection process.

In addition to intensive career readiness workshops, P2E incorporates financial stability counseling and mental health counseling to help address the inevitable stress factors that long-term unemployment status places upon people. Family Service of Chester County and Open Hearth, key participants in the CareerLink - Financial Stability Center partnership, will be providing those counseling services along with services provided by Joseph’s People and the Chester County Economic Development Council, the release said.

The application process for P2E participants is open now and will continue until Friday, April 29; the program is set to begin on Monday, May 9, the release said.

 

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