For Immediate Release - May 22, 2014

Labor Secretary Hosts Open House at Career Center in Lawrence

Lawrence ValleyWorks Career Center offers multi-lingual special services

(Lawrence, May 22, 2014)-- Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rachel Kaprielian today joined local officials and advocates for immigrants to tour the Lawrence ValleyWorks Career Center, one of 33 statewide career centers that serve more than 248,000 job seekers and employers annually.

“Under the Patrick Administration, our career centers have provided services to more than 1.4 million job seekers and 81,200 employers, successfully placing approximately 650,000 customers into jobs,” said Secretary Kaprielian. “The centers are hidden gems for those looking for training and new or better careers and employers recruiting and hiring skilled labor.”

All career centers offer core services such as job search assistance, access to online job listings and a resource room with computers, phones and specialized software. The centers also promote career counseling, workshops on different job search strategies, networking groups and a veterans’ representative..

Many career centers like the Lawrence ValleyWorks offer seminars in Spanish and have regular computer lab classes in English as a second language (ESL). Forty percent of the nearly 12,000 job seekers who visited the Lawrence ValleyWorks in FY2013 are Hispanic or Latino.

“My administration looks to increase job opportunities for all and a key way of doing so is to encourage immigrants to learn English as soon as possible and have more job skills and English classes available to help them, “said Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera. “ We are partnering with Secretary Kaprielian, the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board, ValleyWorks Career Center and area ESL providers to help all area residents get and keep good jobs. “

Lawrence ValleyWorks is finalizing a partnership with Northern Essex Community College to offer an innovative food manufacturing program that will feature ESL classes, workshops on career readiness and job placement for up to 60 individuals at three area food companies.

 “The food manufacturing program is a great example of the partnership that Northern Essex Community College enjoys with ValleyWorks and the Workforce Investment Board,” said George Moriarty from Northern Essex Community College. “The program provides an opportunity for those with limited English language skills to gain the workplace English skills needed by local employers.”

Lawrence ValleyWorks Career Center also partnered with over 650 employers in the last year to take advantage of free services such as applicant prescreening, testing and assessing candidates, job posting, recruiting, applying for training grants and tax credits and job fairs. Career center councilors determine the work force needs of local employers looking to grow and match them to job seekers who have the appropriate skills and experience.

“We are seeing more and more success stories come out of our career centers,” said Secretary Kaprielian. “Last year, over 100,000 job seekers who received services from a career center successfully found work.”

For more information on One-Stop Career Centers and locations, please visit www.mass.gov/connectjobs.

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