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Jobs center opens in shadow of arena site

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 03 2013 05:04:52 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 03 2013 05:57:58 PM CDT

The steel stories are going up in downtown Allentown.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

The steel stories are going up in downtown Allentown.

"I'm very excited," smiled Steven Sabol. "It's like a whole new city down here it feels like."

Folks in the area have high hopes the new construction will lay the foundation for new jobs.

"It's the most exciting thing that's ever happened in Allentown, and I want to be a part of it," shared Ann Laudenschlager.

Sitting in the shadow of the construction going on at the arena complex, the Allentown Employment and Training Center had its grand opening Tuesday. The city teamed up with the Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, CareerLink, and Lehigh Carbon Community College to match workers with jobs in the Neighborhood Improvement Zone.

"There's a great opportunity, there's work coming," added Leroy George.

Job seekers wasted no time heading to the new center to find out what's available.

"I am looking for something that would have more full time hours, and perhaps more benefits for me and my family," Laudenschlager said.

"Hopefully to get a job at the arena when it opens next fall," explained Sabol.

Since everything is still being built, there aren't any jobs in the NIZ available right now. But they're coming, and the goal of the center is to make sure people who want to work there are ready. Daily workshops will help people hone their job search skills, and everyone can sign up for CareerLink's job gateway system to find work now, or be ready when the construction is complete.

"For me, I would like to investigate more and find out more that's happening and I can wait for the right thing to open up," shared Laudenschlager.

The Allentown Employment and Training Center is open 9-6 Monday through Friday.