The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

July 17, 2014

Agency director: Jobs here but interest, incentives not

MERCER COUNTY — “We have jobs. I don’t want to hear that there aren’t any jobs here,” said Angela Palumbo, director of Mercer County CareerLink in Sharon.

Speaking as part of the United Way of Mercer County’s planning commission Tuesday, Palumbo said she gets frustrated when she hears people pin poverty issues on a lack of jobs.

“I can’t fill the jobs I have. I believe any job is a good job. But complacency is everywhere. People wait and see if unemployment benefits will be extended. They don’t look for work. We contact them, call them, write them, give them second chance after second chance and they ignore us,” she said.

Palumbo said it’s a systemic problem that has to be solved at a higher legislative level.

“We get them a job. They do well. They go to work. And the minute they hit $12 or $14 a hour, bam, instantly they lose their medical card for their kids, their rent goes up, their utilities go up and they quit. There are disincentives to go to work,” she said.

“I sit here and I don’t want anybody blaming a lack of jobs. We have jobs. I can’t fill the jobs I have. But the system is wrong. We penalize them for going to work when we should be rewarding them,” she said.

“We’ve begged for people to go to work. And we can’t find them. And sadly, those we do find can’t pass the drug testing. But there are jobs here. Come see me. I’ll get you a job,” she said.

Palumbo is part of the United Way of Mercer County planning committee looking to make the reduction of poverty one of its goals.

For more information, contact Palumbo at 724-347-9257. The Pennsylvania CareerLink is located at 217 W. State St., Sharon.

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