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Life’sWork Clothing Drive Held by Employees at Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.

Category:What's New

The H.O.P. E. Committee at Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc. held a clothing drive last week for our clients. The main purpose of the drive was to collect work/business attire that our clients could use if they needed something to wear to an interview or to simply go out job hunting. Mitsubishi staff donated clothing items all week and then sorted and organized everything for us before pick up. This is the second drive of this kind that Mitsubishi Electric has held for us.

The clothing and accessories are much appreciated and will come in handy for our clients taking steps to find employment. The confidence needed to go out and “sell yourself” to a potential employer, is made so much more possible when you feel good in what you are wearing and how you are presenting yourself.

We are extremely grateful to Mitsubishi for the generous and worthwhile contributions and all the hard work that went it the drive.

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Volunteers Build a Better Life’sWork Spring Fling

Category:What's New

We love our parties and dances here at Life’sWork! Our clients like to take a break from the regular work day now and then and let loose with their coworkers. Our latest party gave us a chance welcome the warm weather and say we say goodbye to winter. We kicked off the new season with our Spring Fling!

Students from Sewickley Academy joined us for a day of volunteering at Life’sWork. Sewickley’s students join us for a day every year, where they help with various projects, like using their creativity to revamp our bulletin boards, or help clean and organize areas around the facility. have assisted on various projects throughout the facility.

Their Day of Service this year coincided with the client event so they were able to help us with decorating beforehand, as well as during the Spring Fling, serving food and drinks to all the partygoers.

We would like to once again thank Sewickley Academy for their service last week and wish everyone in the Life’sWork community a happy spring!

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Tips For Interview Success

Woman being interviewed by a panel of interviewer

Finding a job can almost feel like a job itself. Updating your resume and filling out applications can be stressful enough. But that’s usually the easy part compared to what comes next: the interview.

A good interview can start the next chapter in your life, but a bad one can cut your search short.

Check out these tips to ensure that your next interview leads you to your next career.


  • Learn what you can about the company to ensure that it’ll be the right fit for you and that you’d be a good fit for them.
  • Find out who you will be interviewing with and who your potential supervisor will be.
  • Make a “test” trip to the job site beforehand to ensure you’ll be able to make it to the interview on time and to imagine what your average commute may be like.


  • Dress appropriately. Make sure you arrive dressed how you would if you had the job. Learn the work site’s dress code beforehand.
  • Bring multiple copies of your resume, references, and/or portfolio as well as a few pens and something to take notes on.
  • Switch off your cellphone and other electronic devices before entering.
  • Try not to smoke right before the interview. If possible, brush your teeth or use mouthwash beforehand. Spit out any gum before the interview.


  • Look up common interview questions. Sit down with a friend and have them ask you those questions.
  • Don’t memorize answers, but formulate your thoughts and develop talking points.
  • Prepare to give anecdotal, story-based answers instead of short, one-word answers.


  • Make small talk with the interviewer, try to get to know them as a person and give them a chance to get to know you.
  • Ask insightful questions about the company to show that you are legitimately interested in the job and have done your research.
  • Thank your interviewer in person before leaving, and the follow up by phone or email.


  • Stand tall and proud. Make firm handshakes. Wear clothes that fit and are comfortable.
  • Remind yourself that, no matter what anyone else says, you have value. You are worth it.
  • Don’t try to convince the interviewer that you are the best candidate. Convince them that you are the only candidate.

While research, practice, preparation, and more can help you have a good interview, the only thing that can truly guarantee a great interview is effort. Apply these tips and work hard toward your goals to finally land that dream job.

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Life’sWork 3rd Annual Spring Gala


It was a full house on Thursday, March 14 when Life’sWork held its 3rd Annual Spring Gala in the Rivers Casino Ballroom. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and live music all while supporting and learning about the important mission of Life’sWork of Western PA.

While their words were meaningful, no one tells our story better than our clients and the business partners who provide them with valuable employment opportunities. Mason is one such client, employed at the Allegheny Fire Academy. The evening officially kicked off with a video sharing Mason’s story, which you can view below.

With that, food and drinks were served and the Bachelor Boy’s Band took the stage for a night of fun and networking with other guests, including over twenty members of the Life’sWork staff and Board of Directors.

As the night continued, we also honored our Business Partner of the Year for 2018: Adams Manufacturing. Adams is one of our newest business partners, having established a robust working relationship with them last spring. Through the partnership, Life’sWork and Adams Manufacturing were able to provide meaningful employment for over 50 individuals with disabilities, giving these individuals heavy doses of self-esteem, engaging work, and a paycheck for many of the weeks during the spring and summer of 2018.

The previous recipient of our Business Partner of the Year award, DreBo, America Inc., were highlighted once again in another video presentation. In addition to providing work for the clients in our Mon Valley office, DreBo also employs our client Jeremy, whose story was told in the second video of the night. Jeremy himself was also present at the event, ready to talk about his work with anyone who asked.

The evening came to a close with the drawing of the winners of our many raffle baskets, provided by many community partners including the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, the Mario Lemieux Foundation, and more.

To conclude the evening, we presented one final video spotlighting another client from our Mon Valley office, Brittany, who is employed by Diann Donaldson at the Jazzy Boutique. We were lucky enough to have Diann present with us to share Brittany’s story.

The evening would not have been possible without our sponsors: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc, S&T Bank, Rivers Casino, Staley Capital, and University of Pittsburgh. Whether they are connected to Life’sWork through our business services or a personal connection to our mission, our sponsors provide the support necessary to allow us to continue serving our clients each year.

The Spring Gala is not just a night of food, drinks, and fun. It is a way for members of the community to learn about the mission of Life’sWork and the important service we and our business partners provide to our many clients.

If you are interested in learning more about the programs and services at Life’sWork, click here. To make a donation, click here.

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Al Philips Retires After 28 Years

Category:What's New

It is with mixed emotions that we announce that one of Life’sWork’s longest serving and most dedicated professionals – Al Phillips – has decided to retire. We are happy for Al – for he has earned a richly deserved retirement; but are saddened because we will miss Al, very much.

Al joined what was then known as the Vocational Rehabilitation Center (VRC) in October of 1991 – and over the past 28 years Al, in his role as a workforce development specialist and instructor of the Commercial Cleaning and Custodial Services Training Course, has served this organization and most importantly literally thousands of clients with care and distinction.

Life’sWork held a luncheon on Thursday to toast Al for these years of service. Fellow staff members said goodbye to Al and shared memories of their time working together over these past three decades.

Al’s impact at Life’sWork is immeasurable and his presence here will be greatly missed.

From all of us at Life’sWork and everyone he served through the years, we would like to thank Al for his dedication to our mission and to wish him well in his next chapter in life.

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Life’sWork Clients Invited to Duquesne Basketball Game

Category:What's New

Love, Scherle & Bauer, P.C. was kind enough to provide Life’sWork with free tickets to today’s women’s basketball game at Duquesne University against the Saint Louis Billikens. A group of clients and a few staff bundled up and braved the cold to watch the Atlantic 10 match up at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Everyone enjoyed the exciting game that came down to the wire. Elisha, from Life’sWork, even made an appearance on the Jumbotron with her dance moves!

We would like to thank Duquesne University for the donated tickets. Community events like this provide an excellent experience for our clients to explore the world beyond their job sites and engage with our community.

If you are interested in providing a community engagement opportunity for our clients, feel free to contact Chris Phelps at cphelps@lifesworkwpa.org or at 412.-471-2600 ext. 330           

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First Customer Service Training Course of the Year Commences

Category:What's New

Today marks the commencement of another Customer Service and Technical Skills Training Course here at Life’sWork. This 8-week program prepares students for the working world with computer and customer service skills necessary to find a job as a customer service representative.

As always, we had a truly inspiring group of students this time around. Each student has worked hard to get this far and their dedication has finally paid off. We wish them all great success in their futures.

Are you or anyone you know interested in learning the important skills necessary to land a job in today’s working world? Life’sWork offers a Tuition Free training program that may be right for you!

For more information, contact Ed O’Rourke at 412-471-2600 x218 or at eorourke@lifesworkwpa.org

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Life’sWork Program Graduate Accepts Job at Veterans Place

Category:Client Spotlight

Belva Martin came to Life’sWork last fall, seeking the skills needed to find a job after being out of the workforce for some time. After discussing her options with staff here, she discovered that the Customer Service and Technical Skills Course seemed like a good fit, a program designed to train participants to work on the frontlines of service. The 8-week training course provides a comprehensive approach to customer service and technical skills, helping trainees jump start a career. Belva graduated from the course on November 30th with confidence for the next step in her career.

In less than six weeks, Belva has already been offered a great opportunity. She was hired as an administrative assistant at the Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending Veteran homelessness in the Pittsburgh region.

Belva’s story is living proof that dedication and hard work with the right support can help you accomplish your goals. The Life’sWork staff is very proud of her and excited for her new endeavor.

If you or anyone you may know is interested in the Customer Service and Technical Skills Training Course, contact Ed O’Rourke at (412) 471-2600 ext. 218 or eorourke@lifesworkwpa.org

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MEET: Brittany

Category:Client Spotlight

Brittany Baron is one of our clients at Life’sWork Mon Valley Division. Happy and energetic, she is always willing to take on new challenges. For over a year now, Brittany has been employed at Jazzy Boutique located just down the street from the Life’sWork facility in Belle Vernon.

Jazzy Boutique is a unique place to shop, carrying quality consignment clothing and jewelry. In addition to hiring Brittany, Jazzy Boutique works with other non-profit organizations and homeless shelters throughout the region.

Diann Donaldson is the owner of Jazzy. She formerly worked as a Workforce Development Specialist at Life’sWork in Belle Vernon. Her previous work experience with our organization inspired her to become an entrepreneur and to continue working with Life’sWork to provide employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities at Jazzy Boutique.

Diann is very thankful to be able to work with Brittany and believes that she is “truly an inspiration to us all.” Brittany spends her shifts organizing and sorting the clothing for Diann and greets customers with a smile. “She is excited about work every day she comes in. It’s contagious,” Diann said.

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Life’sWork 2018 Client Holiday Party


Happy Holidays from Life’sWork of Western PA! Last week, we held our annual holiday party featuring music, drinks, dessert, and a homemade holiday dinner.

And as always, our clients were treated to an appearance by the one and only Santa Claus himself!

From all of us at Life’sWork of Western PA, we wish you a happy holidays!