Take a number

Two back-to-back columns about the plight of the jobless in Pennsylvania suggest that if nothing else, there's a vast community of decent, eager-to-work people out there who will happily share tips and inside information gleaned from the epic struggle to connect with state workers and collect unemployment compensation.

Waiting in my inbox this morning was this helpful advice from a reader whose fingers went numb dialing the standard 888# to the always-busy, understaffed unemployment service centers.

"Thank you for writing this article pertaining to the inability to reach the unemployment centers via phone," the reader wrote. "The CareerLink office in Philadelphia gave me direct phone numbers for the unemployment offices. After many tries, I was successful in reaching one of them yesterday."

Then, he happily provided a new set of numbers, which I verified online. (Alas, they were busy each time I called, but maybe you'll have more luck)

(814) 871-4311, Erie

(610) 821-6735, Allentown

(570) 496-2332, Scranton

(717) 299-7711, Lancaster

(724) 599-1250, Indiana


-- Monica Yant Kinney