With companies needing skilled workers -- but are not always being willing to pay to train them -- and long-term unemployment remaining a problem in southwestern Pennsylvania, the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board has founded a new website to help people find low-cost training programs.
Quick Train for Jobs or quicktrainforjobs.com, contains links to programs in the manufacturing, health care and energy fields with the idea of helping some of the 88,000 people who are counted among the unemployed in the region to have a better shot at the 35,000 jobs that are being advertised.
Vera Krofcheck, director of strategy and research for the workforce investment board, said many of the unemployed have suffered from long-term joblessness, which is defined as being out of work for more than six months.
The website, which she said is starting slowly with just three sectors, lists 13 training programs. Careers in the energy, health care and manufacturing sectors are expected to create 2,160 jobs annually over the next decade with the vast majority -- 1,757 -- in health care.
Ms. Krofcheck said the workforce investment board plans to add more training in other sectors.
The health care section of the website offers links to six different training programs ranging from home health aid -- a two-week training for $130 provided by Joblinks, a program of the Oakland Planning and Development Corp. -- to a free 35-week program training Pennsylvania residents at the Bidwell Training Center for positions as pharmacy technicians.
Projections are that there will be an additional 609 jobs for home health care aids and 85 jobs for pharmacy technicians each year for the next 10 years.
While there are no links to programs offering training in the natural gas sector, there is a link to the Shale Net site, which has information on one- and two-year programs for shale gas workers.
In the energy field, Quick Train for Jobs lists a free program at Community College of Allegheny County to become a technician in renewable energy in 13 weeks. The community college site says there will be 16 people in each of the classes for the occupation that the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board site anticipates will grow by nine jobs a year.
There is also a one-year, no-cost program at Bidwell Training Center to become a chemical technician.
The manufacturing section has listings for five programs, including welding and mechatronics, which is the operations of building systems, through CCAC; machining through the University of Pittsburgh; and manufacturing programs through New Century Careers. A link to a masonry program at the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh is also included.
Ann Belser: email@example.com or 412-263-1699.