Alaska Job Centers Offer Help with Jobs, Training

While the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development doesn’t have an “easy” button – our clients can walk out of a job center with the skills to build a life.

Our dedicated staff in the Alaska Job Center Network connect job seekers with employers and provide training referrals for unemployed and underemployed workers. The one-stop job centers, part of a nationwide network, meet the majority of a customer’s needs by offering core, intensive and training services. We also provide supportive services that might include tools for training or safety gear for a job.

Many of our job centers are regional hubs that offer federal and state-funded employment and training services to job seekers and businesses. They also offer youth services. Veterans receive priority through the job center system and federal job training programs. Support is available for people with disabilities.

Through the Alaska Job Center Network, we support rural communities through itinerant services. Our “rapid response” teams, which assist workers who are being laid off, are deployed immediately when needed.

Accessing Services through the Job Center Network:

Job seekers looking for employment and training can receive three levels of one-stop services based on eligibility and assessed need.

• Core services are basic services and available at no cost. These core services include employment related and job placement services, labor market information, referral to services offered by partner agencies such as the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Division of Public Assistance, and other local employment and social service resources, like child care providers. Core services also include a number of job preparation workshops for job search strategies, interview skills and resume preparation. Customers can use self-serve tools like copiers, fax machines, Internet capable computers, and gather information on upcoming job fairs and hiring events. Also available are employer services such as listing jobs on ALEXsys – Alaska’s online job bank – and referral to business resources.

• Intensive services are services available at no cost for job seekers who are not able to access the job market through the use of core services. These services include development of a reemployment plan, referrals to address basic needs, and a detailed career inventory assessment of a client’s skills, vocational abilities, aptitude and suitability for training if needed. For example, this might mean helping increase math skills with a referral to adult basic education.

• Training services are services available to persons who need training to access the job market. These services are provided after a case manager develops an individual employment plan that describes the training, costs, client contribution, timeframe to complete the program and the specific high growth job that the client is targeting after training. Each training entity is approved by the Department of Labor based on providing occupational training in high-demand and priority industries in Alaska.

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Paul Dick is director of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Employment Security Division.

04/12/2012 - 9:24am