O'Hara church group provides support, resources for job seekers
The Joseph's People employment assistance program began at St. Joseph Parish on May 1 — coincidentally, the Feast Day of St. Joseph the Worker.
“We have so many blessings to be thankful for here,” said the Rev. Thom Miller, pastor of the Catholic church in O'Hara. “This is a program that provides us with an opportunity of reaching out and helping others get back on their feet.”
Program Director Jack Shaw said the faith-based group provides resources to help people pursue jobs. Meetings consist of guest speakers and topics such as networking, resumes and interviewing. One-on-one support is offered.
“People think you redo your resume and get a job right away but it doesn't work that way,” said Shaw, whose group meets at 7:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at the church on Dorseyville Road.
“It can be discouraging and we want people to know it's more of a journey.”
Founded in 1997, the volunteer-run Joseph's People Ltd. of Downingtown has about 14 chapters of Joseph's People in Pennsylvania. All are on the eastern side of the state, except for the O'Hara group.
Participants receive a workbook that helps with job-seeking skills along with banking, budgets and computers.
“We had a workshop on how to use LinkedIn, and showed people some of the Internet resources out there,” Shaw said.
Shaw was laid off from a job at Highmark Inc. in 2006. “The downsizing was unexpected and it was crushing,” he said.
“We identify with our work, we spend a lot of time there. It is said that 75 percent of a person's identity is tied to work. When you lose a job, that's a big hole to fill.”
One of the best tips for unemployed workers, he said, is to send resumes to 10 or 20 potential employers that are fine-tuned for particular jobs, instead of sending generic resumes to more companies.
Since it began 16 years ago, the nonprofit Joseph's People has helped more than 4,000 people recover from job losses.
Shaw said he has already seen success.
At least one of the 12 people who've attended sessions at St. Joseph Parish has landed a job, and two others have scheduled interviews.
“We want to help people keep a positive attitude,” Shaw said.
He said this program, offered free, helps people rediscover their gifts and self-worth.
“It is a social group above all and we are here to support people,” Shaw said. “What I try to tell people is this is a process. It's not 1-2-3.”
The next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. July 24. For information, call 412-963-8885.
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh region’s philanthropic sector at top of nation’s pack
- Fed slashes its emergency power options in crisis
- Film session: Long shots dotted Steelers’ passing game
- Islamic immigration in Europe
- Police encryption
- Enough Benghazi
- Dorfman: Barnes & Noble could beat bookstore blues, chief’s stock buy suggests
- Founder of Z&M Cycle Sales in Hempfield killed in Florida motorcycle crash
- In a heartbeat: ‘Kissing bug’ showing up in Pa.
- Distractions can help keep riders alert in self-driving cars, study finds
- Pope Francis visits mosque in war-torn Central African Republic, calls for end to conflict