The Herald, Sharon, PA Published Sunday, Feb. 11, 2001
outlook 2001


One-Stop is open, accessible to all seeking agencies’ help

By Lisa Mehler
Herald Staff Writer

In its previous life, Mercer County One-Stop was Purple Cow Video. Now it houses resources to aid local residents who are seeking employment and other services.

"Much of what is here now is an addition, or was not developed," said Angela Lenzi, site manager of the One-Stop, located at 217 W. State St., Sharon.

Mercer County One-Stop hopes to earn its charter in March to become Mercer County Team Pennsylvania CareerLink. It houses agencies including Office of Vocational Rehabilitation staff members along with those from Bureau of Employment and Career Services, West Central Job Partnership, Green Thumb, Mercer County Community Action Agency and Mercer County Career Center.

"Before it was a video store, the building also had been Armstrong Grocers and a Firestone Tire (dealership)," Ms. Lenzi said.

Ms. Lenzi considers the building among the most structurally sound in Sharon. "It’s nearly 100 years old," she said.

Anthony Cocca, who owns the building, made certain the office space was in compliance with Americans with Disability Act.

"He was our angel," said Ms. Lenzi. "He said, ‘Anything you need, I’ll take care of you.’ He made sure we went above and beyond ADA compliance."

Parking, entrances and restrooms were among areas considered when the center worked toward compliance. The building was refurbished with the help of Cocca’s architect, Tom Keller of Cortland, Ohio.

"Unlike other One-Stop sites in the state, we were able to start from the ground up, and build things to our specifications," she said.

The on site meeting and conference areas are among the building’s wheelchair-friendly accouterment.

"Those rooms containing tables that are not accessible can be changed around," said Ms. Lenzi. "The rooms can be used for seminars, and for employers who come in to conduct interviews."

The walls of the Career Resource Area are lined with computers, all linked to Harrisburg, where visitors can take advantage of various job resource functions.

"People can come in and register, write their resumes and find jobs," said Ms. Lenzi. "This is the hub of activity."

The room also is complete with a wheelchair accessible computer; and Teleprinter/Teletype/Teletypewriter equipment for those with hearing impairment.

"The state makes sure all CareerLink offices are ADA compliant so they are universally accessible," said Ms. Lenzi.

"If we have only one person come in who needs to use Braille, then that’s another person we will be able to help."

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