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Rev. Luis Cortes, Jr. joined Philadelphia Works as well as elected officials, representatives from the PA Department of Labor & Industry and Department of Human Services to celebrate the opening of the new integrated PA CareerLink® Center located at 4261 North 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140.  This new center in North Philadelphia is third of four integrated PA CareerLink® centers now operating in convenient locations across the city under the “No Wrong Door” model of workforce service delivery.

“Esperanza is proud to be a part of this exciting moment commemorating the opening of the integrated PA CareerLink Center here in North Philadelphia,” said Esperanza’s Founder, President and CEO Rev. Luis Cortés. “Providing opportunities and opening doors for thousands of Philadelphians is the cornerstone of our work here. We know that good jobs transform the lives of individuals, builds families and benefits the larger community. We are especially grateful for the relationships we enjoy with Philadelphia Works and employers and are anxious to see the positive impact this integrated model will deliver for our community.”

Philadelphia Works designed the “No Wrong Door” model to make it easier and more efficient for job seekers and employers to connect with one another.  Under the previous system, two completely separate systems served very similar purposes, but for two different populations.  Under the new “No Wrong Door” model, the EARN program, a service previously for only Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients, is now integrated into the PA CareerLink® center.  The new model ensures ‘one-stop shopping’ meaning no matter how a job seeker or employer enters the system – through a center, on-line or through a community-based organization – there will be “no wrong door” and they will be able to receive the same types of services.

“Philadelphia Works is eager to open career pathways for residents of North Philadelphia, and this new integrated center is the culmination of our effort” said Mark Edwards, President and CEO of Philadelphia Works.  “Our new integrated centers are the future of workforce service delivery for employers and job seekers alike.  We are proud to be leading the charge in creating a model for sustainable workforce development in the City of Philadelphia.”

At the new PA CareerLink® centers, job seekers can expect expanded workshops to assist with developing workplace skills that will make them more competitive in the job market. Additionally, new career readiness services will be made available through community-based organizations, furthering the reach of PA CareerLink® resources into additional neighborhoods throughout the city. A wide array of new training and other informational videos will also be available online via a new YouTube channel and through the PA CareerLink® Philadelphia website.

Over the course of the past year, three additional PA CareerLink® centers have relocated and are currently serving job seekers from across the city.  The other locations include: 5070 Parkside Avenue, serving West and Southwest Philadelphia; 1617 JFK Boulevard, serving Center City and South Philadelphia; and 5847 Germantown Avenue serving Northwest Philadelphia.

The new integrated PA CareerLink® Centers are operated by a consortium of workforce partners that include contracted service providers, L&I, PA Department of Human Services and the L&I Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

The selected service providers who have been awarded contracts to operate in the new integrated PA CareerLink® centers are: JEVS Human Services (Center City), SER-Metro (West Philadelphia), Impact Services Corporation (Northwest Philadelphia) and Nueva Esperanza (North Philadelphia).  A fifth service provider, Educational Data Systems Incorporated (EDSI), has been awarded a contract to serve a new role as the “cross-center service provider,” which will operate as an intermediary in order to ensure consistent services between the new physical locations, as well as oversee the community outreach and business services initiatives to connect with outside organizations.

More information on the “No Wrong Door” model, including a fact sheet and timeline, can be found on the Philadelphia Works’ website at http://www.philaworks.org/service-providers-educators/no-wrong-door.

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