Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry FAQs

What workforce development services are provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry?

The Department’s Workforce Development Board provides access to employment and related services, job placement and access to education and training. It also provides services through PA CareerLink centers.

What is PA CareerLink?

PA CareerLink is the system by which the Department of Labor delivers education, employment and training services in Pennsylvania. Most PA CareerLink services are provided online through a self-service system, but there are PA CareerLink centers with trained staff throughout the state.

What employment assistance is available for people with disabilities in Pennsylvania?

Specialized organizations have been established to assist people with disabilities in achieving their highest level of economic independence, including services and advocacy through the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), the Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH), the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS) and the Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC).

What does the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in Pennsylvania provide?

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) supports individuals with disabilities in obtaining and retaining a job. Services provided by the OVR include career counseling and guidance, training and vocational rehabilitation services.

What supports exist for workers that are deaf or hard of hearing?

The Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) provides referrals and advocacy services for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and serves as a liaison to the government for the Deaf community.

What employment services exist for those who are blind or visually impaired?

The Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS) provide vocational rehabilitation services to help individuals of working age gain employment, promote independent living skills and set up businesses.

What is the Single Point of Contact approach to hiring people with disabilities in Pennsylvania?

The Single Point of Contact (SPOC) program is a hiring model that simplifies the process for companies to hire people with disabilities. The SPOC supports employers in interviewing, hiring, training and evaluating employees with disabilities.

What is the role of the Workforce Development Board in Pennsylvania?

The Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board aims to build and maintain a strong workforce system that meets workers’ need for employment and employers’ need for qualified workers.

Is there career planning information available to Pennsylvania workers?

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor provides career planning services by offering an interactive career guide, information about high demand jobs with strong pay, average wages for various occupations and statistics regarding Pennsylvania’s workforce.

What does the Office of Apprenticeship and Training do?

The Office of Apprenticeship and Training coordinates grant programs that fund sponsored apprenticeships. The goal is to increase apprenticeship availability in Pennsylvania.

Are specific programs available to veterans seeking to reenter the workforce in Pennsylvania?

PA CareerLink programs give priority to qualified veterans and provides for specialized services for veterans, including specially trained veteran employment representatives. These services include referral services, job development, training and referral to government agencies. Special services for disabled veterans and those transitioning from active duty are available through the Veterans Program to ease and expedite their return to the job market.

Do employment services exist for older job seekers?

CareerLink promotes employment on ability rather than age. The program matches the skills of workers older than 40 years of age to current job openings.

Does Pennsylvania have assistance to get off of welfare and back to work?

Yes, Pennsylvania’s New Directions Program provides access to a PA CareerLink representative when the state determines that you are job-ready. The focus of the New Directions program is on job search assistance, but it also offers other services such as job fairs, resume preparation and access to skills training.

What is AmeriCorps? Does Pennsylvania participate in the AmeriCorps program?

AmeriCorps is a service organization that provides education assistance awards in exchange for a one- or two-year full-time or part-time volunteer term serving underserved populations and working toward solutions to Pennsylvania’s civil challenges.

What opportunities exist for technical education and skill development in Pennsylvania?

The Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators is comprised of 73 technical schools across the state of Pennsylvania. It assists workers in obtaining technical education and supports employers that are looking for highly trained employees.

What support is available for individuals and families who are below the poverty line?

If you have little to no income, the state can provide supplemental cash support in the form of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). When you receive TANF, you will get access to a case worker who will help you obtain additional education or training and provide guidance on job searches. TANF has work requirements to continue receiving funds.

What is JobGateway?

JobGateway is a service of PA CareerLink. It is an online tool to connect job seekers with employers looking for workers. It allows for you to search job postings, create a resume, find training and apply for jobs in Pennsylvania.

Does Pennsylvania help with child care when workers return to employment?

The Child Care Works program can help employees determine the right type of care and education for young children and assistance in paying for it. There is an online child care provider search tool that can help you meet your needs.

Are there opportunities to receive financial assistance in attending higher education in Pennsylvania?

Yes, Pennsylvania and its associated schools participate in the student financial aid program. The Department of Labor will provide assistance in filing an application for student aid and learning about additional supports available, such as the GI Bill.

Can the state of Pennsylvania help me in obtaining civil service work?

Yes, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania provides direct links to civil service positions at the local, state and national levels. The state provides assistance in finding these opportunities, supports individuals with disabilities to navigate this system and provides training and testing schedules for civil service jobs.

What Kind of Employment Development Services Are Available in Pennsylvania?

If you are currently unemployed and need help finding a job, the state of Pennsylvania offers unemployment benefits to eligible applicants, in order to help them get by while pursuing work. In addition to financial assistance, the Employment Development Division of Pennsylvania also offers training benefits, which allow unemployed individuals to learn new skills and get a higher education so that they can earn a better living. Find out more about these employment services by downloading our guide.

What Education Assistance Is Available in Pennsylvania?

Just as unemployed individuals can benefit from services offered by the state, so too can college students. Pennsylvania students can qualify for financial aid from the government, such as loans and grants, which can help them cover the costs of higher education. Find out how you can get financial assistance for your schooling by downloading our guide.