There are between 180,000-200,000 jobs in Pennsylvania that are currently unfilled, according to Governor Tom Corbett, who talked jobs at Harrisburg Area Community College Wednesday afternoon.
The state is using the information superhighway to unlock the unemployment gridlock.
But Julia Hearthway, Pennsylvania's secretary of Labor and Industry, says using the web to connect employers who have jobs with the unemployed who need them is not new.
"For years there's always been an Internet program by the state, but in short it was just plain awful," Hearthway said of the L&I job matching website she inherited just over three years ago. "The governor takes a look it and tells me, 'fix this. We need services for the people of Pennsylvania and we need this to be effective.' "
Hearthway and her team created JobGateway, a website that helps job seekers improve their skills online.
At HACC, Hearthway and Corbett unveiled the latest tool for the unemployed. It's called Big Interview.
Big Interview lets users do mock interviews and record them for playback. It's to let job seekers get comfortable in the interviewing process and sharpen their answers to likely interview questions.
"You can send that interview to friends, family, or colleagues," Hearthway said. "You can ask them for their input. How did I handle that question? How would you have answered that question?"
Hearthway said Big Interview is a result of Pennsylvania employers complaining that prospective employees don't present themselves well enough to hire and have poor interviewing skills.
Corbett is on a statewide job interview of his own. He wants voters to retain him in November, but there are nagging questions about job creation on his watch.
Critics say Pennsylvania is among the worst in the nation for job creation. The governor, who counts only private-sector jobs and doesn't acknowledge the thousands of public-sector jobs lost on his watch, sees it differently.
"We've had, depending on the time you look at it, up to a 151,000 private-sector, new jobs. Are there less government-paid jobs? Yes, there are," he said.
Corbett insists he's focused on finding work for unemployed Pennsylvanians, like the students he mingled with at HACC. He also bristles at the suggestion that a jobs news conference is merely a photo-op attempt to secure his own job.
"I'm not looking at the 2, 4 or 6-year cycle of elections. I'm looking at the young men and women who were just here. What jobs are they gonna have 10, 15 or 20 years from now?" he said.
Tuesday, September 16 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-09-16 20:43:34 GMT
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