Career Link operation moves into new facility
BELLEFONTE — When it comes to finding a job in Centre County, Pennsylvania Career Link is a great resource.
When the Centre County office outgrew its old space, it need to find a larger place to call home base. That spot is in Bellefonte's Match Factory. On Oct. 20, the doors at 240 Match Factory Place officially opened for business.
For the workers at Career Link, the move wasn't extremely taxing. In fact, the move was right next door in the Match Factory.
Erica Mulberger, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation, explained that Career Link simply needed a larger facility.
“We had a large number of participants coming to our Bellefonte site before right next door. We wanted to come to a larger space,” Mulberger said. “Here, we have more visibility from the road. With the larger space, we can provide more services. It didn't take a lot of renovations to meet our needs. We're very pleased with the facility.”
The new facility features resources for job seekers. There are several banks of computers where Centre County residents can look and apply for jobs. There's also classroom space where instructors can help job seekers polish their resumes, brush up on computer programs and work on interviewing skills.
According to Mulberger, having more space is vital to the continued success of Career Link.
“We have a great computer resource area now. People can come in, search for jobs, get job training skills, learn to write a resume, things like that,” Mulberger explained. “We have more classroom space so employers can come (here) and do interviews. If they don't have enough space at their facility, they can do it here. We can also have small job fairs here.”
Centre County commissioner Steve Dershem sits on the local elected officials board for the Workforce Investment Development Corporation.
He stopped by to tour the new facility on its opening day.
“These folks do some amazing work,” Dershem said of Career Link. “They reach out to just about every level of our society, every age group and take care of job training and job education. They work with employers. They provide a fantastic function for our community.”
Career Link plays a vital role in Centre County. No one knows that better than Bellefonte borough manager Ralph Stewart.
“Career Link is an integral part of what we do. They provide services to help people get employed and better themselves,” Stewart said.
The Career Link office is one of the anchors in the Match Factory, Stewart said.
“The entire complex is a true success story. It started with the American Philatelic Society purchasing the property around the year 2000 and they've been developing the whole complex ever since,” Stewart said.
Dershem agreed, calling the Match Factory an “amazing structure.”
“You talk about urban renewal and re-growth … they took something that was run down and turned it into something that is now the hub of a lot of businesses and service organizations in our community,” Dershem said.
Hundreds of people use the Career Link facilities on a weekly basis. That means more people coming into downtown Bellefonte, which is a very good thing, according to Stewart.
Stewart was thrilled that Career Link chose to remain in the borough.
“Anytime a business comes into the borough, we're ecstatic that they're opening up. They're promoting more commerce in our community,” Stewart said.
For more information about Career Link, visit www.cwds.pa.gov or stop by 240 Match Factory Place in Bellefonte.
“We're really here for the employers, businesses and job seekers,” Mulberger said.