Oakland Career Center Places Promising Candidates with Pittsburgh Companies

OPDC is proud to highlight the successes of two JobLinks clients, Sophia Green and Leslie Manuel, whose experiences with JobLinks helped them enter Pittsburgh’s growing health care field. Don’t forget to watch the video to learn more about Sophia and Leslie’s personal stories! 

Courtesy: S. Rick Armstrong

Sophia was referred to JobLinks by the City of Pittsburgh. Her interest in the medical field made her a strong candidate for the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. Christopher Kendall, JobLinks’ Special Contracts Coordinator, worked hard to get Sophia sponsored by the City of Pittsburgh’s Employment, Advancement, and Retention (EARN) program, which then covered her tuition. Sophia passed the CNA course with flying colors, took her Nurse Aide Competency Exam, and then, through interviews set up by JobLinks, found employment at the Charles Morris Nursing and Rehabilitation assisted living facility, where she has been working for over six months.

Christopher emphasized that JobLinks is not just a job placement service but also a career-oriented organization paying particular attention to job retention. “We spend a lot of time looking for the perfect fit,” he says, “so that clients find positions in which they can stay long-term and grow.” Sophia maintains contact with JobLinks and shows her appreciation for their help by volunteering at orientations and providing encouragement to new students.

Courtesy: S. Rick Armstrong

Leslie came to JobLinks seeking help to stay in the health care field – she had worked previously as a nursing assistant in another state but needed to acquire the skills for Pennsylvania certification. Afraid she had to start from scratch, Leslie came to JobLinks. Janette Brown, JobLinks’ Health Employment Access Coordinator, worked with Leslie to prepare for and pass her test here in Pennsylvania.

Leslie took the CNA class at JobLinks and then worked with Christopher to prepare for the POWRR event, an employment partnership program in which JobLinks participates with UPMC. POWRR events are held quarterly; this particular POWRR session resulted in seven of the eight JobLinks candidates obtaining employment, Leslie included. Leslie is still employed with UPMC and has signed up to take her Nurse Aide Competency Exam, after additional training and encouragement from Janette. “Having such good relationships with both employers and clients is what enables us to advocate for the best matches and meet everyone’s needs,” Janette told us.

“We really know clients as individuals,” Christopher says. “That’s the culture of JobLinks and one of the keys to our success. That’s why our biggest referral source is by word of mouth.” Christopher, who has worked with generations of families, is proud that a small organization like JobLinks can be so influential in the community. “Our clients know we’re here for them,” Janette says, “and even after they’ve secured employment, they know they can call and come back if they ever need us.”

If your company needs help hiring qualified and reliable employees like Sophia and Leslie, contact JobLinks at 412.621.3821 or questions@joblinks.opdc.org. You can also visit the JobLinks website to learn more about our career services for job seekers and employers.