For Immediate Release - June 12, 2014

Labor Secretary Hosts Open Houses to Highlight One-Stop Career Center Services for Job Seekers and Employers

Milford’s “Workforce Central” Career Center offers interactive services for entrepreneurs and self employed

(Milford, June 10, 2014)-- Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rachel Kaprielian today joined local officials and business leaders to tour the Milford “Workforce Central” 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. “Increasingly, businesses are turning to career centers to recruit and hire labor and get expert help in determining their future workforce needs.”

All career centers offer core services for job seekers 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.

Milford’s “Workforce Central” has unique interactive workshops for individuals and small businesses to assess entrepreneurial skills, develop a business plan, practice pitches and learn communication and sales techniques to take businesses from idea-to-implementation. Milford and its sister career centers in Worcester and Southbridge can also highlight early-stage entrepreneurs and work-ready job seekers on its TV program "Exposure with Mosher"  broadcast on WCCA-TV13.

Since launching the entrepreneurship program two years ago, 319 job seekers have participated in the workshop and 27 have pursued launching their own business.

“We teach our entrepreneurship clients to recognize that the activities and skills required for landing a job are basically the same as starting a new business, but with a slightly different focus,” said Hari Narayanan who heads up the program. “Today’s economy has changed and we have an obligation to prepare clients on many levels and encourage them to research and pursue various sources of income for a secure financial future.”

Like most one-stop career centers, “Workforce Central” partners with area employers and offers free services such as applicant prescreening, testing and assessing candidates, job posting, recruiting and job fairs. Career center councilors determine the work force needs of area employers looking to grow and match them to job seekers who have the appropriate skills and experience.

Other services for employers often include helping them apply for a variety of hiring and workforce training grant programs. Since 2000, 19 Milford businesses received more than $1.2 million in grants to train nearly 1,400 employees. The Patrick Administration has made record investments in workforce training and education to companies and small businesses across the state, awarding more than $84.3 million in training grants involving more than 1,191 businesses and 103,584 workers.

“The centers are hidden gems for those looking for training and new or better careers and employers recruiting and hiring skilled labor,” said Secretary Kaprielian. “We are seeing more and more success stories come out of our career centers, not only for the 100,000 job seeker customers who successfully found work last year, but for the many, many businesses that are now thriving and creating jobs.”

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

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