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Lawrenceville WORKS! Initiative Launched to Help Residents Get Training and Jobs

Kick-off Event
June 20th | 4p – 7p
Goodwill | 118 52nd Street
Refreshments, Program Information, and More!

A major initiative aimed at reducing unemployment in Lawrenceville by linking residents to job-training programs is being launched by a partnership that includes two community organizations – Lawrenceville United  and Lawrenceville Corporation – and Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania, which is based in Lawrenceville. The initiative, called Lawrenceville WORKS! is funded by a grant from UPMC Health Plan and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Lawrenceville United is a nonprofit organization focused on improving quality of life of Lawrenceville residents and stakeholders through community engagement and advocacy, community restoration and beautification, and community planning and development.  Lawrenceville Corporation is a nonprofit community development corporation that acts as a catalyst and conduit for reinvestment in the community with programs that serve the business community and promote investment and high quality commercial and residential development.

A key element of the new program is that Goodwill will hire a full-time Community Employment and Resource Specialist who will be dedicated exclusively to helping job seekers from the Lawrenceville area. Local residents who need jobs will be assisted individually by the Goodwill staff person and guided through various job-training and support programs to prepare them for work and other opportunities. In addition, the Goodwill staff person will help individuals deal with personal barriers to employment by connecting them to supportive services and community resources.

The new employment service for Lawrenceville area residents will be introduced at a special kick-off event on June 20, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Goodwill Workforce Development Center, 118 52nd Street. Residents are invited to come in to learn about the new program and about the various programs and services that are available to help people achieve their employment objectives, including GED preparation and testing, English as a Second Language classes, computer classes, job search and job placement assistance, skills training, career exploration, and PA CareerLink.

“This initiative will help to address the significant unemployment rate in Lawrenceville, and we are confident that it will benefit our community,” said Lauren Byrne, Executive Director of Lawrenceville United. “Our primary goal is to identify residents’ needs and connect those who need jobs to the programs and resources available in our community.”

Ms. Byrne said the partnership will use a variety of communications tools to make sure residents are aware of the new program, including door-to-door recruiting, targeted mailings and flyers, participation in community events, and a series of community meetings. “We will actively recruit area residents for the training programs offered by Goodwill,” she said.  “Goodwill is a tremendous community asset and having a special staff person dedicated to helping Lawrenceville residents will open doors to many great opportunities.”

Matthew Galluzzo, Executive Director of Lawrenceville Corporation, said local employers also will play an important part in the new program. “We are seeking collaborative partnerships with Lawrenceville employers to identify their needs so we can provide them with job-ready employees from the local area,” he said. “We are asking them to support the initiative by opening their doors to employ Lawrenceville residents who participate in Goodwill training programs. In addition, pilot programs are being explored specifically around growing industries in Lawrenceville, including the hospitality and construction fields.”

Michael J. Smith, President/CEO of Goodwill SWPA, said having a special Goodwill staff person dedicated to helping Lawrenceville job seekers is a vital component of the new program. “This initiative is a perfect fit for us because Goodwill is all about helping people get and keep jobs,” he said. “We look forward to working with the community organizations to help Lawrenceville residents get the training and support they need to become successful, productive employees.”

For more information contact, Raeann Olander, Goodwill’s Director of Employer Relations, at 412-632-1744 or raeann.olander@goodwillswpa.org.

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