Resume writing and interview prep: Bucks County launches Workforce on Wheels bus, expands PA CareerLink access

The new mobile vehicle offers career development resources on resume writing, interview skills, job searching and more.

Listen 1:16
Billie Barnes next to the Bucks County Workforce on Wheels bus

Billie Barnes is the executive director of the Bucks County Office of Workforce and Economic Development. She pushed to invest in a mobile CareerLink office to spread awareness and expand access to county workforce development resources. (Emily Neil/WHYY)

From Delco to Chesco and Montco to Bucks, what about life in Philly’s suburbs do you want WHYY News to cover? Let us know!

Bucks County is taking its career development resources on the road.

The county’s new Workforce on Wheels, or WOW, bus will offer the same resources as the Bucks County PA CareerLink employment center in Trevose. Job seekers can hop on board the bus and work on resume writing, interview skills and more.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“We are hoping that this will aid us in our number one challenge, which is getting the word out that we exist, and just telling people all of the wonderful things that we can do,” said Billie Barnes, executive director of the Bucks County Office of Workforce and Economic Development.

Barnes said the need for a mobile facility became clear when she first stepped into the position in 2019. Whenever she spoke about PA CareerLink’s services and resources at events, she was met with surprise, Barnes recalled. Many people told her they were unaware that kind of support existed in the county.

“Foot traffic at the CareerLink has been down since the pandemic, right, and it is slowly ticking up,” Barnes said. “But we are nowhere near where we used to be prior to that … And one of the challenges that we’re finding is, you know, kind of rebranding and marketing and how do we outreach.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Barnes said even for county residents who know about PA CareerLink resources, accessing them at the office location in Trevose, in Lower Bucks County, can prove difficult for those who live in the north and northwest parts of the county and lack adequate means of transportation.

Enter the WOW bus. When Barnes worked in Washington, D.C., providing workforce services for the district government, she saw the success of a mobile office. So she decided to push for one in Bucks County.

Funding from the American Rescue Plan Act allowed the county to invest in designing and building the bus — complete with 12 seats, a TV screen, laptops and chargers. The bus was delivered at the end of last year; Barnes and her office then had to spend several months searching for a driver — a “sign of the times,” she said, as employers in the county and throughout the country are struggling to recruit and retain employees.

Barnes said the Bucks County WOW bus is the only one of its kind in Pennsylvania.

“Hopefully, it’s going to generate and stimulate a lot of other [county workforce] boards to say, ‘Let’s get on board,’” she said. “When we talk about all of the positive things that we’re doing with this vehicle, everyone is going to want one.”

Employers and community organizations can email to either schedule WOW for an event or learn more about the services provided.

WOW’s soft launch will be held at the Bucks County PA CareerLink office in Trevose on June 13. The official launch, Barnes said, will take place in September, with the bus making stops in a number of towns throughout the county.

Get daily updates from WHYY News!

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal