OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe City of Allentown just made it easier for those individuals who are seeking jobs in the Neighborhood Improvement Zone, which includes the PPL Arena and Hotel currently being constructed downtown.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski and representatives from Lehigh Carbon Community College and Career Link held a Press Conference to announce the opening of the Allentown Employment and Training Center, which is at LCCC’s downtown location at 718 Hamilton Street.

“We are meeting our long-standing commitment to make new jobs available to our citizens,” said Pawlowski. “The center is opening in plenty of time to make job seekers aware of the opportunities that will exist. Career Link will work with the developers in the NIZ and their tenants to put together information on the jobs that will be available,” said Pawlowski.

A total of $125,000 in funding for the center is coming from both the City’s Community Development Block Grant program and the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority (ANIZDA).

According to ANIZDA Executive Director Sara Hailstone, “The NIZ development is generating a lot of positive momentum. This center represents another solid step in the economic synergy that is taking hold.”

Career Link will survey employers about what jobs will be available and the skills that will be required. Workshops will be scheduled to assist job seekers with interviewing skills, conducting a job search, employer expectations, developing a resume and much more. Information will be available to link potential applicants with the resources available to assist them in finding training.

“An Employment and Training Center in downtown Allentown, right in the middle of where all the new jobs are being created, provides a one stop resource center for Allentown residents to learn about employment and training opportunities within the Neighborhood Improvement Zone and throughout the entire Lehigh Valley,” said Nancy Dischinat, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc. “PA CareerLink is Lehigh Valley’s premier workforce development system and welcomes the partnership with the mayor, the City of Allentown, LCCC, and ANIZDA.”

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with the city, ANIZDA and Career Link on bringing job opportunity information to the public,” said LCCC President Dr. Donald W. Snyder. “We at LCCC are excited about all the development downtown and are excited to be a key partner in training and worker development.”

The news conference was also attended by Ruckus CEO Josh Wood and Ruckus President Alex Friedman. Ruckus signed a deal this spring to acquire the former Neuweiler Brewery in the Neighborhood Improvement Zone with plans to open a brewery next year.

“The Neuweiler redevelopment is especially exciting because as a brewing facility it creates an array of employment opportunities,” said Ruckus CEO Josh Wood. “The attraction of the facility to other commercial occupants, particularly as a cornerstone to the new Waterfront, will undoubtedly foster the development of employment opportunities as the project continues to evolve.”

The Employment and Training Center will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.