Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ
What is PA CareerLink®?
PA CareerLink® is a "One-Stop Shop" that connects employers and job seekers in the most efficient manner possible. Our Pa CareerLink® Pittsburgh/Allegheny Operator group is comprised of the Pa Department of Labor & Industry Bureau of Workforce Partnership and Operations, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, United Labor Agency and the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. At the sites in Downtown Pittsburgh and Forest Hills, our Operator group provides highly-trained staff to assist visitors with a wide range of materials, workshops, consultation services, and on-line access to a comprehensive database of job opportunities and employment information.
I was recently laid off, how can you help me?
You may first want to register for unemployment compensation. You can register online 24 hours day, 7 days/week at http://www.uc.pa.gov or call toll free 1-888-313-7284. For TTY service dial toll free: 1-888-334-4046.
Interested job seekers can register online for self-directed job seeking services and view/apply to local employment opportunities in the area at: www.jobgateway.pa.gov. You can also visit one of our PA CareerLink® of Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Centers at any time to use our computers, phones, fax machine and copier for job search purposes. If you want further assistance, come to our Orientation session. A 3-day Career Workshop is a benefit to job seekers wanting additional information on how resumes are written and read, interviewing tips and tricks and more. To find the office nearest you Click Here.
When is Orientation?
Our Orientation to Services occurs once a week at our PA CareerLink® locations. At the orientation session you will hear about all the services we offer and meet with one of our Employment Specialists to discuss your specific needs and how our services may help. Although it may vary, normally your first visit to an orientation will last approximately 90 minutes. Generally, there is an orientation offered once per week at each of our locations:
PA CareerLink® Downtown Pittsburgh PA CareerLink® Allegheny East
Every Monday, stop in anytime between 9am-3pm Every Thursday, stop in anytime between 9am-3pm
304 Wood Street 2040 Ardmore Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Orientations start every half hour throughout the day, except for 12:30pm.
I do not know what to say during interviews; What should I do?
You should attend an Orientation and register for our workshop series. You’ll learn what to do before, during, and after the interview. The workshop provides information on the most commonly asked interview questions and you will participate in a mock interview with an Employment Specialist. You can also watch our Interviewing With Confidence video here.
What is Job Gateway?
Job Gateway is a free website offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor that allows you to view and apply for thousands of local and statewide jobs. Job Gateway provides job search and job matching opportunities statewide.
PA now has an active search for work regulation (34 Pa. Code § 65.11). As mandated by federal law, all 50 states have an active search for work requirement as a condition of eligibility to receive unemployment compensation benefits.
UC claimants are required to register for employment-search services at www.jobgateway.pa.gov within 30 days after filing an application for benefits. It is easy to register and takes only about 15 minutes. JobGateway ® provides claimants with upwards of 200,000 real-time job postings, so register today at www.jobgateway.pa.gov.
Even if you have previously enrolled in the JobGateway ® or PA CareerLink ® systems, go to www.jobgateway.pa.gov and complete the following element(s) to be certain you have satisfied the UC registration requirement: Social Security Number, Keystone ID/Password and Profile – Work Experience. Claimants who fail to register as required may be disqualified to receive UC benefits.
For further instructions on how to register, click here: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=1471506&mode=2
I did not finish high school, how can you help me?
Obtaining a high school diploma or GED (General Equivalency Diploma) greatly increases employment opportunities. Most employers require that applicants possess a high school diploma or GED. These classes are in Allegheny County, have no fee and require no sponsorship or referral. Education and additional services vary by provider.
The Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, (GPLC), one of our Pa CareerLink® Partners offers the High School Equivalency Test, (HiSET). The HiSET will give the examinee the opportunity to receive their diploma from the state. GPLC can also help you brush up on your reading and math skills and high school equivalency preparation to increase your confidence and success with the HiSET! For more information please call GPLC's main office at: 412-393-7600.
Here are other providers of High School Equivalency Preparation & Adult Literacy Classes in the Pittsburgh area:
Allegheny Intermediate Unit – AIU: Contact: Phone: 412-281-4494, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Community College of Allegheny County - CCAC: Contact: Adult Basic Education Hotline; 412-237-4699Email: email@example.com
Goodwill SWPA: Contact: Registration Line; 412-632-1841, Email: GED@goodwillswpa.org
What if I have a disability?
Each One-Stop is equipped with materials that will assist individuals with disabilities in utilizing our services. ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) approved materials, including a large screen computer with wheelchair access, are on hand at each location. Items, such as hearing enhancements, large print reading materials, and tools for reading/math comprehension, are available as well. Job Seekers with disabilities may also ask to speak to an OVR representative. To learn more about services with OVR click here.
What kind of training will PA CareerLink® fund?
PA CareerLink® of Pittsburgh/Allegheny County may fund training that leads to gainful employment in a local High Priority Occupation, (HPO). The Department of Labor and local Workforce Investment Boards determines the HPOs in our area. Exceptions to the occupations in demand criteria must identify the occupation for which training is to occur, the reason for requesting an exception and documented evidence of employment. Your Employment Specialist can provide guidance. A list of state approved training programs can be found here.
My caseworker/counselor recommended this program, how do I get started?
Attend an orientation session and customer registration, be sure to indicate your public assistance status on your application. You may be asked to provide document regarding your public assistance status.
When can I start training?
In order to start a training program you must first be determined as WIOA (Workforce Investment & Opportunity Act) eligible, and meet suitability requirements through interviews and assessments before a funding application can be approved. For more information, please attend an orientation session and register for services.
Do all training providers have the same credentials?
No. We have a wide variety of training programs offered; therefore, the credentials and certifications and/or certificate of completions for coursework vary.
What if my training provider is not on the approved list?
To access WIOA funding for training, customers must use training providers approved by the State of Pennsylvania and Partner4work. Many important factors are used in determining the approval of providers. Training providers must offer a relevant curriculum that meets current workforce needs. The rate at which students successfully complete training and secure employment post-graduation are critical factors in the approval process. There is an extensive range of certified providers offering training in various demand occupations. Each career center has a database of certified providers. For further information regarding these providers, inquire with your Employment Specialist.
A list of approved training providers is located on JobGateway
What if I have outstanding student loans?
Defaulting on a student loan can cause significant problems. You can begin to resolve that situation today by contacting the student loan company who will help you establish a reasonable payment plan. Most student loan companies have a default plan, whereby once you have made a number of timely payments (usually six); you may be considered for an additional loan amount. You will need to continue to make payments as established, so working full- or part-time while attending school is advised.
You may still qualify for tuition assistance through PA CareerLink® program. We provide grant assistance, which does not require repayment. Depending on the selected training, we may be able to cover the full cost of tuition. Although this assistance may be available, make every effort to resolve your student loan debt.
Why do I have to take a math and reading test?
The TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) assessment may be a requirement for candidates interested in training. The TABE is based on an eighth grade math and reading level. Generally, eighth grade proficiency is a basic requirement for most employers. TABE scores are a good predictor of success in training and allow your Employment Specialist to assess your skill levesl. Most training will require some component of math and reading. The test is a preparation tool, which indicates whether a customer is ready to proceed in suitable training.