Prince George's CountyWilliam J. Ford

Job Center Coming to Southern Prince George’s Co.

Job seekers who reside in southern Prince George’s County and have had to travel to career centers in Largo and Laurel will get some help closer to home in the coming months.

Employ Prince George’s, a quasi-governmental agency, will open its third job and career resource center in January at Tanger Outlets in National Harbor. The center plans to service between 3,000 to 7,000 residents in the area known as South County who can receive job training, counseling and enroll in various construction, health care, hospitality and other programs.

Also, about 200 businesses are expected to participate in recruitment opportunities for job seekers at the location, officially known as American Job Center National Harbor.

In addition, high school juniors and seniors, specifically those from Crossland, Friendly, Oxon Hill and Potomac, can receive mentoring, postsecondary education and possibly future employment. The goal for students who aren’t planning to attend college or enter the military will be to provide them with a job within 90 days after graduation.

“Every month, we have over 10,000 job opportunities available,” Walter Simmons, president and CEO of Employ Prince George’s, said at an Oct. 10 press conference. “We know there is always work to do.”

Simmons said the agency served 30,000 job seekers and 1,000 businesses last year. The target will be to increase job-seeker service to 45,000 in the next two years, he said.

Last year, the agency opened its American Job Center in Largo and launched a Youth Career Center in Suitland exclusively for those ages 18 to 24 who either dropped out of high school, are not enrolled in secondary education, or are unemployed.

Similar to its office in Largo, the American Job center at Tanger Outlets will provide resume writing, job certification and assistance for returning citizens.

Nonprofit organizations can enter the agency’s community network to not only assist job seekers, but access workforce training for its members as well.

“To have this job center in South County is going to be big boost for job-seeking residents here, but also the entire county,” said Councilman Mel Franklin (D-At-Large) of Upper Marlboro. “We want this to lead to more residents working in Prince George’s County. That’s what this is all about.”

The job center also ensures residents who reside in the vicinity of MGM casino resort down the street from Tanger Outlets receive additional services and resources. State law established a local development council for public input on traffic, public safety and other topics related to the casino.

“We are celebrating and standing in yet another of those promises and expectations of not only becoming to be fulfilled, but also being surpassed,” said the Rev. Jeffrey Chandler, who chairs the development council and representative of Shalom Ministries Christian Center in Fort Washington. “The American Job Center at National Harbor will be a great benefit to our community complete with resources and free workforce services that will help both businesses and residents within the impact area.”

For more information on future job fairs, career readiness sessions and other future events, go to www.pgcajc.com.

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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