For Immediate Release - May 21, 2014

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

Plymouth Career Center offers award winning programs for Veterans

(Plymouth, May 21, 2014)-- Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rachel Kaprielian today joined local officials and veteran services advocates to tour the Plymouth Career Center, one of 33 statewide career centers that serve more than 248,000 job seekers and employers annually.

“Many people think of our career centers as a place to go just to file a claim for unemployment benefits,” said Secretary Rachel Kaprielian. “The fact is these centers are also hidden gems for job seekers 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 offer career counseling, workshops on different job search strategies, networking groups and a representative to work specifically with veterans.

Massachusetts is first in the Nation in veterans’ services, but the unemployment rate among the veteran workforce is still higher than the statewide rate, partly due to the unique needs veterans have in transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce.

"Employment is a critical component for a veteran’s successful transition back into civilian life," said Secretary of Veterans Services Coleman Nee. "Massachusetts leads the nation in veterans’ services and with the partnerships developed with the Department of Career Services and the great work done at the career centers, we are maximizing our resources to provide our veterans with the employment opportunities they rightfully have earned."

At the Plymouth Career Center, veterans receive special access to workshops and veteran- specific orientations. The Center’s award winning networking program “Vet Net” showcases the talents and skills that veterans bring to the business sector and also gives our servicemen and women the opportunity to learn to use technology in their job search.

“My main interest is to provide as many job search tools and targeted employment opportunities to our member population of veterans so to allow them the means to transition back into a satisfying and well-paying position as quickly as possible,” said Mike Kelley, the Center’s veterans employment representative.

Carin Smith, who served in the Army for 21 years participated in many of these programs before she was hired by the town of Marshfield’s veteran services office.

“The Plymouth Career Center and Mike Kelley offered me invaluable career information and personal encouragement that motivated me to do more for our fellow veterans,” said Smith.

“We were excited to hire a veteran since our founder was an Army nurse,” said Nancy Stronach, HR Manager at Southwood & Starr Health Group in Norwell. “Our new employee served three years in the military and was the best qualified candidate to meet the needs of our organization and exemplified the compassion needed to work with the sick and elderly.”

Southwood & Starr Health Group was one of over 400 employers who partnered with the Plymouth Career Center in the last year to take advantage of free services for employers 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 workforce 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 found work.”

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

 

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