By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Nineteen local companies today pledged to try to fill their job openings with applicants who use two government-run job placement services.

Mayor Nutter presided as the local firms signed what he called the “Philadelphia Jobs Compact.”

It’s basically a commitment by those companies to tap into two programs that help unemployed workers find new positions: Philadelphia Works and PA CareerLink.

“The compact is a commonsense agreement in which area employers pledge to use the public workforce systems to fill open positions,” Nutter said.  “It’s as simple as that.  The companies that sign the compact will use the Philadelphia Works system to post the available jobs.  And if an applicant meets the requirements for that job, the company will at least interview them, and then hopefully hire them.”

Comcast and Peco were among the firms signing on.

“We like this system,” said William Strahan, head of human resources at Comcast.  “We like what we’re signing up for, because the workforce system brings us candidates who are screened and who are enthusiastic about coming to work and making a contribution.  They come with qualifications, with skills, with preparedness to work.”

Also speaking was Grisel Lozada, who was unemployed for two years before finding a job with the Temple Health System through PA CareerLink.

“I love my position,” she said.  “I love helping people.  And I can take care of my household as well as myself.”

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