January 2016 NewsFlash


Pike County Government, Faith-Based Organizations and Economic Development Authority Partner to Help Pike County’s Unemployed and Underemployed

The project to be known as “Working Pike,” is designed to feature a collaboration of County Government, Faith-Based Assemblies and Private Organizations.

An interesting and unusual alliance of organizations has partnered to create a Pike County Job Fair which is tentatively set for Friday, April 15, 2016. The reason these organizations have joined together is to give individuals who are unemployed and underemployed an opportunity to meet with major local employers (and from several nearby counties too!) here in Pike County.

The group decided the project should be called “WORKING PIKE.” It will have the mission of “Building a stronger community through partnership of government, community and Faith-Based organizations.”

While the unemployment situation in Pike has improved over the past few years with the rate dropping from 10.6% to 6.0% (October, 2015), local religious leaders noticed that many in their various congregations are still experiencing great financial difficulty. In fact, over the past year, a number of pastors from different congregations have been meeting with County and EDA officials to have what is called a “Continuing Discussion about the Working Poor.” Recently, the “Five Catholic Parishes of Pike County” committee and others have met to discuss practical actions that could help parishioners and non-parishioners find jobs, limit their travel time and, find employment with better opportunities than their current jobs might provide. Father Paul Mullen of St. Vincent’s de Paul Catholic Church in Lords Valley, Pastor Neil Nielsen of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Father Gregory Kelly of St. Patrick’s Church and Commissioner Matt Osterberg have all been actively involved in these discussions. Additional pastors of many different denominations have been involved too.

In a meeting held on December 7, 2015 the at St. John Newman Church on Route 739 in Lords Valley about 20 members of the Five Catholic Parishes of Pike County Committee, and others, decided to go ahead with the Job Fair in April. Father Mullen will organize the other pastors and congregations. Cynthia DeFebo the Director of the Pike County Workforce Agency, Pike County Commissioner Matt Osterberg, Tammy Savarese and Michael Sullivan of the Pike County Economic Development Authority (EDA) will work on identifying and reaching employers. The congregations that agree to join the coalition will work to provide additional hands to do some of the many calls necessary to ensure a large turnout of employers and job seekers.

For additional information contact:

• Commissioner Matthew Osterberg, Pike County Government (201) 281-1161
• Father Paul Mullen of St Vincent de Paul Church in Lord’s Valley (570) 686-4545
• Michael Sullivan, Executive Director, Pike County Economic Development Authority (570) 296-7332

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