Unemployment is high. Historically high. And there is no certainty it will be dropping significantly anytime soon since there is no clarity of when a vaccine will be made available and if it will work at stemming the spread of coronavirus.
Correspondingly, some industries like hospitality, newsrooms, and performing arts have been decimated. But other industries, like health care, grocery, and some retail, have boomed. Because the federal government has yet to extend the unemployment benefits necessary to keep people afloat, a career change for some might be necessary.
Pittsburgh City Paper has compiled a list of organizations, schools, and training facilities to reach out to if you are considering a career change. By using recent data from the Pennsylvania’s Center for Workforce Information & Analysis, there are several High Priority Occupations that are forecasted to grow significantly in the Pittsburgh region. These occupations might deserve more consideration because there is a higher chance of finding work in these fields.
These include Registered Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, and Medical and Nursing Assistants; Cement Masons, Construction Laborers, and Operating Engineers; Heavy and Light Truck Drivers; and Software Developers and Database Administrators.
This organization serves as the workplace development board for the Pittsburgh area and is a good place to start when looking for a new job. Partner4Work even has a Transitional Job program that “helps job seekers who may have multiple barriers to gaining employment build the work history needed to take the first step to a solid career,” according to the Partner4Work website. This program is useful to those with chronic unemployment or those with a criminal record looking for work.
Partner4Work uses the Service Corps Reignite program to specifically help businesses, job seekers, and nonprofit organizations as they emerge from the economic disruption of COVID-19. The organization also offers resources for GED and TABE completion, as well as a new program to help people find work at bank branches and in the banking industry.
Visit partner4work.org, call 412-552-7090, or email [email protected].
The Community College of Allegheny County has a workforce development program that caters to people looking for jobs that are currently in-demand. These include a successful welding program, as well as mechatronics, nursing, culinary, and bio-science training programs. The pandemic has been hard on the restaurant industry, so while culinary training might not currently be as attractive, nursing and operational engineers are still careers that are very much in demand. CCAC offers nurse aide training that is about one month long, and prepares people for a career as a nursing assistant, which the state expects to see hundreds of new positions in by 2026 in the Pittsburgh region.
Another booming medical field in terms of jobs in the Pittsburgh region is respiratory therapy. The state expects the region to add dozens more respiratory therapists over the next few years, and CCAC offers classes specifically for that as part of its Allied Health and Nursing Associate of Science certification program. Enrollment might have to wait until the winter semester, however.
The community college also offers a six-week course in Pennsylvania Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), for commercial truck drivers. The state expects Heavy Truck driver positions to grow by about 10% by 2026 in the Pittsburgh region.
CCAC also offers a Center for Professional Development to help people gain experience and training for potential office jobs, with courses on project management, Microsoft Excel, and continuing legal and financial education.
Visit ccac.edu/workforce or call 412-788-7507.
Nursing jobs dominate the Pittsburgh region and the state, and their growth doesn’t appear to be slowing down. According to the Center for Workforce Information & Analysis, the Pittsburgh region expects to add more than 1,000 new nursing positions by 2026. Nursing is a tough field and it requires a bachelor’s degree, but there are several well-ranked nursing programs in Pittsburgh.
The University of Pittsburgh, Carlow University, and Chatham University all offer well-ranked nursing degrees. Allegheny Health Network also runs its own nursing school, but enrollment might have to wait until the winter semester.
These programs, like most higher education, aren’t cheap, but average Registered Nurses salaries are around $68,000, well above the average annual Pittsburgh-area salary of $57,000. More information can be found at the school’s websites.
Technology is one of Pittsburgh’s fastest growing industries. Jobs do require education and experience, so they will be out of reach for many. But those who are thinking about changing careers to help land a job might want to consider tech.
According to the Center for Workforce Information & Analysis, the Pittsburgh region expects to add more than 500 Software Developers and Database Administrators by 2026. Tech companies have been expanding in many neighborhoods in the city, like East Liberty, Oakland, and the Strip District.
Those looking for work in the tech field should look to job listings on the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s website, as well as listings at NEXTPittsburgh.
Those can be reached at pghcareerconnector.com and nextpittsburgh.com/category/jobs.
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