Program aims to help veterans prepare for workplace, find jobs

By William K. Alcorn


United Methodist Community Center has launched a new federally financed program aimed at helping military veterans in Mahoning and Trumbull counties prepare for the workplace and find jobs.

The UMCC, with sites at 760 Main Ave. SW in Warren and 139 E. Boardman St. in Youngstown, received a three-year $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to finance Ready Workforce Programs at both sites, said Juanita Pasley, UMCC executive director.

Not only will the program, which begins Sunday, help veterans, it will provide five or six jobs for intake, case managers, instructors and job coaches. The goal is to help at least 108 veterans in the two counties, Pasley said.

Under the Ready Workforce Program, she said UMCC will work with other community and veteran-serving organizations and employment providers to coordinate services for veterans who need assistance in getting job training.

“The program will work to coordinate services to reduce or eliminate duplication of services in the community,” Pasley said.

She said UMCC will use WorkKeys, an online job-skills assessment system which measures real-world skills of the veterans. Computer-generated assignments enable remedial education to be individually designed and tracks success to give direction for new assignments aimed at moving the veteran into training or employment.

WorkKeys helps build employment skills, including math, reading, and business writing, which are at levels pre-set by employers for entrance into training programs, Pasley added.

Also, the grant will finance production of an outreach video for use in the community, Pasley said.

“United Methodist Community Center Ready Workforce Program will meet each veteran ... to establish a personal connection that provides the spark for the journey back to a vital and dignified life,” she said.

To reach the Ready Workforce Program at the Warren site, call 330-373-6480, ext. 222. The Youngstown-site telephone number is 330-743-5149, ext. 13.

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