Job Seekers Services for Special Populations
PA CareerLink® Lehigh Valley is ready to assist individuals with disabilities, individuals from economically disadvantaged families, those who are preparing for non-traditional career training and employment, re-entering individuals, and people with other barriers to education and employment, such as (but not limited to) limited English.
The following is a break down of the services we provide for job seekers who fall into our “special populations” categories.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, or OVR, provides vocational rehabilitation services to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. OVR provides services to eligible individuals with disabilities, both directly and through a network of approved vendors. Services are provided on an individualized basis. The OVR counselor, during face-to-face interviews, assists customers in selecting their choice of vocational goals, services and service providers. An Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) is developed, outlining a vocational objective, services, providers and responsibilities. Certain services are subject to a Financial Needs Test (FNT) and may require financial participation by the customer. Counseling and guidance, diagnostic services, assessments, information and referral, job development and placement, and personal services such as readers or sign language interpreters are provided at no cost to the individual. Also, by law OVR customers receiving Social Security benefits for their disability (SSI, SSDI) are exempt from OVR’s Financial Needs Test.
To learn more about PA CareerLink® Lehigh Valley’s services for people with disabilities, call 610-437-5627 or send us a message. Scroll to the bottom of our career resource center page to find a full list of accessible resources and equipment available at our centers.
Providers of Adaptive Equipment
c/o The Gilman Group, L.L.C.
P.O. Box 6356
Rutland, VT 05702-6356
2 Bethlehem Plaza
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Contact Person: Dick Kovacs
Freedom Scientific Blind/Low Vision Group
11800 31st Court North
St. Petersburg, Florida 33716
P.O. Box 3209
Farmingdale, New York 11735
800-838-9945 extension 3817
Contact Person: J.R. Thatcher
P.O. Box 572190
Houston, Texas 77257
PA CareerLink® Lehigh Valley works with local ESL Providers to assist job seekers who speak limited English. Classes are offered from beginner to advanced for those wanting to improve their educational, employment, and personal opportunities.
Free ESL Classes provided at the following locations:
Adult Literacy Center of Lehigh Valley
Lehigh Carbon Community College
Northampton Community College
ProJeCt of Easton
610-258-1100 Ext 13
Our Introduction to Services class is conducted in Spanish at our PA CareerLink® Lehigh Valley center. Visit our workshop calendar or call 610-437-5627 for more information or to find out the class schedule.
- Self-Study Quizzes for ESL Students
- Study Site for ESL Students
- Test of English as a Foreign Language Resources
- The International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- English at Home – Learn English for free
- Grammar Education Resource Guide
- English as a Second Language Home Page
- Exchange ESL Magazine – with writing by and for ESL students.
The Senior Community Service Employment Program is the nation’s oldest program to help low-income, unemployed individuals aged 55+ find work. SCSEP is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and operated by AARP Foundation in 21 states and Puerto Rico.
SCSEP participants gain work experience in a variety of community service activities at non-profit and public facilities, including schools, hospitals, day-care centers, and senior centers. The program provides over 40 million community service hours to public and non-profit agencies, allowing them to enhance and provide needed services. Participants work an average of 20 hours a week and are paid the highest of federal, state or local minimum wage. This training serves as a bridge to unsubsidized employment opportunities for participants.
Lehigh and Northampton County residents who are 55 or older and meet income guidelines established by the federal government are eligible for SCSEP. For more information, please contact the Lehigh Valley branch of AARP Foundation.
AARP Foundation – Bethlehem, PA
10-East Church Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Related Links & Resources:
PA CareerLink® Lehigh Valley offers a number of programs and services for Veterans to assist you in job searching, re-training, and supportive services. Veteran representatives are available to speak with you in our main office and can help you identify the services for which you may be qualified.
Veterans Affairs Medical Center
3110 Hamilton Boulevard
Allentown, PA 18103
610-776-4304 (press “0” for operator)
The following Lehigh Valley organizations can also lend assistance to veterans:
- Lehigh County Director of Veterans Affairs — 610-782-3295
- Northampton County Director of Veterans Affairs — 610-559-3199, extension 2737
- Lehigh Valley Housing and Homelessness Prevention Resources for Veterans
- VA eBenefits
- PA Veterans Benefits Booklet
- Military to Civilian Resume: How to use your military experience
- Veterans Guide to Careers after the Military
- Military to Civilian Leadership Skills Resources
- Career Resources for Veterans
- 5 Tips for Transitioning from Military Service to the Civilian Workforce
- Veterans ReEmployment Portal
- Veteran’s Apprenticeship
- Vocational and Trade Careers for Veterans
- Veteran Entrepreneur Portal
- Veteran Business Ideas
- SBA – Fund Your Business
- A Veteran’s Guide to Starting and Financing a Small Business
- 4 Tips to Help Veterans Become Entrepreneurs
- Best Business Industries for Veterans
- Education and Career Resources for Veterans Transitioning to Criminal Justice
- How to Change Careers from Military to IT
- IT Training & Career Resources for Veterans
- Cyber Security Education and Training Resources for Veterans
- Get Hired in Healthcare: An Online Guide for Student Veterans
- College Guide for Veterans and Service members
- Veterans Pursuing an MBA: A guide to military friendly colleges and companies
- Military/Veteran Financial Education and Helpful Resources (FiscalTiger)
- Housing and Mortgages for Veterans
- How Does Veteran Housing Assistance Work With Apartments?
- Understanding a Veteran with PTSD
- Veterans/Ex-Servicemen Health News
- Health Care Resources for Veterans
- Contingency Management To Curb Addiction Among Veterans
- Mesothelioma Veterans Center
- Protecting Veterans in Nursing Homes
- Basic Resources (USA.gov)
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
- Veterans Employment
- Make the Connection – Shared Experience and Support for Veterans
- Substance Abuse Resources
The Employment Advancement and Retention Network (EARN) program is designed to provide comprehensive activities and services to individuals newly applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, as well as on-going TANF benefit recipients. The goal of the program is to support participants in achieving successful employment outcomes as they move toward self-sufficiency.
EARN consists of two components:
- The Work Support Component (WSC) provides job placement services to new TANF applicants. Participants enrolled in this component participate in an eight week job readiness and directed job search curriculum.
- The Career Development Component (CDC) provides a full range of employment and training activities for the ongoing TANF recipient beginning with an initial four week job readiness and search program. Work first, employment, or a work activity is the preferred outcome. Other available activities include literacy, post-secondary education, and skill training.
The Lehigh Valley EARN Program partners with the Northampton County and Lehigh Carbon Community Colleges in offering innovative vocational educational skills training, job readiness curriculum, and directed job search/placement.
Job retention is a critical part of the EARN program, and job retention activities and incentives are designed to encourage participants to maintain employment. This leads to an increased likelihood of self sufficiency through opportunities for career advancement, increased wages, and employer provided medical benefits.
To find out more about these programs and whether you are eligible for services contact PA CareerLink® Lehigh Valley at 610-437-5627, extension 271.