Permanent Employment

The Permanent Employment Program (PEP) vision is to assist chronically unemployed individuals to search for, and obtain, meaningful employment by providing barrier assessment, education, case management, and subsidized work experiences in the Lehigh Valley. 


The program mission's is to assist chronically unemployed individuals reach self sufficiency by obtaining meaningful, permanent employment.


PEP works with upwards of 25 hard to employ clients each year, helping them successfully complete job readiness activities and eight weeks of subsidized training during which they are paid a stipend for hours worked. 

PEP Training Process
1. Potential participants are referred from partnering organizations (any non-profit in which they are currently involved) and meet with the PEP coordinator to determine eligibility and benefits of PEP for that individual. 

2. Participants are involved in paid trainings (15hrs/week) in food or janitorial services. During this time, coordinator helps them apply to and interview for competitive employment opportunities in the community.

3. Participants enter into community workforce as paid employees. Coordinator continues to work with employee and employers for up to nine months to ensure best fit for employee and employer. 

4. Self Sufficiency: Through employment and community supports, participants decrease their dependence on social financial supports (i.e. welfare)


Tina was new to the area and was living with a friend until she could find a job. She had lost her job in New York due to the recession and had moved to Allentown with the hope of a lower cost of living and good job opportunities. But she couldn’t find work. Not even her military experience seemed to be helpful. After about six months in the area with no work, Tina was getting desperate.


While in a local food bank, Tina saw a sign for PEP. She applied, was interviewed, and was accepted into the training program. PEP helped her build a resume, interview better, and network and job search. She worked with the Conference Soup Kitchen helping to prepare, serve, and clean up after meals. During her training, she was put in touch with a major local health center for the possibility of a job. The PEP coordinator helped her to prepare for and get to her interview. 

She got the job! 


PEP staff celebrated this great accomplishment with Tina. The PEP coordinator worked with her to figure out public transportation to and from her new workplace and continued to be available assist her as she transitioned back into community employment. Tina is still working months after starting her new job. She even has hopes of becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant someday. In her own words, “Now I have a direction, and I couldn’t have done it without the Permanent Employment Program.”


How You Can Help
PEP is in need of businesses that will offer jobs in food service or janitorial sevices. PEP is also in need of interview clothing (especially ties and dress shirts), janitorial equipment, mentors, and USB flash drives.


Contact: Adilia Bhasin at 610-439-8522





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