Employer Wednesdays Connect Lehigh Valley Employers with Job Seekers

By Colin McEvoy on June 29, 2021

Before the COVID-19 crisis, the Workforce Board Lehigh Valley (WBLV) used to hold as many as 300 job fairs each year, connecting employers and job opportunities with qualified job seekers throughout the Lehigh Valley.

After the pandemic, WBLV wanted to continue to connect regional employers and prospective employees, but needed to find new safe and appropriate ways to do so. This resulted in the creation of the organization’s Employer Wednesday events.

Each Wednesday, WBLV invites job seekers to meet and speak with a member of the hiring team from Lehigh Valley companies in such industries as manufacturing, warehousing, transportation, health care, finance, IT, and more.

Though smaller and more targeted than job fairs, these Employer Wednesday events have provided attendees with access to thousands of good-paying career opportunities in the Lehigh Valley, in a safe environment with social distancing measures in place.

“We have changed the model of job fairs,” said WBLV Executive Director Nancy Dischinat. “Our Employer Wednesdays showcase business and industry Career Pathways, are personalized to the job seeker and customized for results. Every employer, every job and every individual is important to us.”

This week’s Employer Wednesday on June 30 will include representatives from the Boston Beer Company and Empire Moulding & Millwork. The next event on July 7 will feature Lehigh Valley Adult Services and Country Meadows Retirement Communities.

Pre-registration is required; register online here or contact 610-841-1171 for more information. The events are held at PA CareerLink® Lehigh Valley, located at 555 Union Boulevard, Allentown, PA 18109.

Past organizations to participate in Employer Wednesdays have included B. Braun Medical Inc., Bakerly, FedEx Ground, KidsPeace, Mack Trucks, Ocean Spray, Reeb Millwork, Sharp Clinical, and Weaver Popcorn, to name a few.

Employer Wednesdays, which have been held every week since October, are just one part of WBLV’s overall workforce strategy. The organization’s mission is to ensure an employer demand-driven world class workforce system aligned with economic development, education, and the community focusing on targeted industry clusters.

WBLV’s goals are to analyze and identify those clusters with sustainable growth industries in the region as the primary workforce focus, to develop data driven innovative and cost effective workforce strategies that meet employer needs, and build key partnerships to align education, economic development and workforce development to meet employer needs.

Other goals of the WBLV are to restructure PA CareerLink® Lehigh Valley operations to enhance employer and job seeker services to support family-sustaining employment opportunities, and to maximize resource effectiveness at the federal, state, regional and local levels.

“Wednesday used to be known as Spaghetti Day, but we have transformed that day of the week into Employer Wednesdays,” Dischinat said. “They are going so well that we have now introduced Employer Tuesdays and the work goes on to help employers find people and help people find work.”

WBLV and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) work collaboratively through the LVEDC Education and Talent Supply Council. This partnership of educational institutions, major employers, and economic development and workforce agencies is focused on creating and executing data-driven regional strategies that help the Lehigh Valley maintain a competitive workforce and talent supply.

LVEDC and WBLV have recently commissioned the firms Camoin 310 and EMSI to conduct an in-depth analysis of the Lehigh Valley’s talent supply and demand, how regional workforce needs have been changed by COVID-19, what top skills employees need now and will need in the future, and other insights.

“As demand for talent evolves and companies reposition themselves for the post-pandemic market, continued economic success will depend on a workforce with the credentials and skills that employers value,” said Karianne Gelinas, LVEDC Vice President of Business Development and Talent Supply. “This study will provide the foundation for data-driven collaboration to ensure that Lehigh Valley’s workforce is equipped with those skills.”

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