Program targets long-term unemployed

Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation’s Platform to Employment (P2E), a nationally recognized program addressing the specific needs of long-term unemployed workers, has opened its online application for its class for Las Vegas residents.

The complimentary program is accepting applications from individuals who have been unemployed 27 or more weeks or have exhausted their unemployment benefits.

Those who meet the criteria are encouraged to apply immediately as seating is limited and applications will not be accepted after April 8.

“We see a lot of people who are frustrated because they’ve been looking for a job for a while and haven’t found anything,” said Colleen Butler, employment security division program specialist. “This program helps build them back up and give them the tools and opportunities they need so they have a whole new level of confidence for their job hunt.”

Butler added that the program provides attendees with the techniques and tools to market themselves, ability to understand why they’ve been unemployed, intense resume building and workshops, behavior health services, financial guidance, how to follow up after an interview and experience with technology such as LinkedIn.

“There are a lot of individuals in the Las Vegas area that have job experience but aren’t experienced at job hunting and their profession was something that there aren’t a lot of jobs available,” Butler said. “We have so many community networks that can be tapped into and different employers who are willing to work with people.”

Four workshops have been completed statewide, since the Platform to Employment program launched in 2014. It has been successful in both Reno and Las Vegas with 79 percent of the first group of participants in Las Vegas returning to work and 81 percent of the first Reno group finding employment.

Nevada was among 32 states to be awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to assist Nevada’s long-term unemployed jobseekers in re-entering the workforce. The grant totaling $1,830,497 was awarded through the Job-Driven National Emergency Grant program.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Nevada residents who have found it difficult to return to work in wake of the recession,” Renee Olson, administrator for DETR’s Employment Security Division, said in a statement. “Jobseekers who have been out of work for an extended period of time have a difficult time finding employment. This program will provide them with the support they need to re-enter the job market.”

The P2E program is a five-week preparatory program and upon program completion, P2E assists participants in finding open positions at local companies.

Placements are made on a trial basis, and are paid for by the program. The expectation is that if the company is satisfied with the performance of the candidate, a full-time job will ensue.

Platform to Employment subsidizes the wages of the job candidate for up to eight weeks, providing employers a risk-free opportunity to evaluate the candidate and determine if a good match exists.

Those interested in the program can apply at the Platform to Employment website, and click on the Platform to Employment Nevada Application button on the right side of the homepage.

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