We are working from home

Abel Personnel: 50 years of changing lives

Deborah abel

Abel Personnel celebrates 50 years of innovation in staffing Central Pennsylvania businesses and schools in March 2019. A successful second-generation family business, Abel Personnel keeps pace with one of the tightest job markets in memory by providing the top talent clients need.

While statistics show that only 30 percent of family businesses survive the transition from founders to the second generation, Abel Personnel has bucked the odds. Today, Abel Personnel offers direct hire, temp-to-hire, contract staffing, and temporary staffing solutions.

Franklin Abel was a veteran of the former Harrisburg Grocery Company and the fledgling Rite Aid when he joined Tom McConnell and founded Abel-McConnell Personnel in March 1969 working in exclusively permanent placement. In the days when jobs were advertised and filled by gender, Franklin Abel’s wife, Dorothy Abel, stepped in to help with women’s interviews for two weeks and stayed for 18 years.

Abel Personnel has innovated with changing times. The firm saw early growth when the partners made the snap decision to acquire Hallmark Personnel in 1970. In 1979, the “Abel Girl” division, founded in 1977, was rebranded as “Abel Temps.” When McConnell retired that year, the firm became Abel Personnel. As staffing-agency trends shifted from permanent to predominantly temporary placements, Abel Personnel adapted.

“I don’t think we had a plan,” said Franklin Abel last year, who remained involved in the firm until his death in December at the age of 92. “We did what we could, and whatever we did, we did well. The people that we hired were gems. We treated people nicely and fairly.”

Current president, Deborah Abel, daughter of founder Franklin Abel, guided the firm through the technology age after joining as marketing manager in 1990. Since becoming president in 2001, she has followed in her parents’ footsteps by maintaining and building a seasoned team devoted to identifying and evaluating candidates’ skills, needs, and goals, while providing extensive training and workplace supports.

In today’s tight labor market, business clients save time and money through Abel Personnel’s recruitment, screening, and training from a pool of qualified candidates.

“There are a lot of hurdles to applying for jobs on the internet,” said Deborah Abel. “People feel their résumés go to an empty void. If they apply with us, they have a sense that they can talk to a human being who can be their advocate and helping them with their career.”

Through three divisions – Abel Personnel, A+ Teachers and Abel Executives, Abel tailors services to the varied needs of the business, non-profits and education communities.

Steelton-Highspire School District Assistant Superintendent, Mick Iskric, experienced an “unbelievable” difference when the district contracted A+ Teachers to solve challenges in quality and quantity of substitute teachers.

“We wanted to support our teachers in giving them professional development opportunities,” Iskric said. “If we need to send teachers to training, having A+ Teachers helps maintain classroom momentum. We’re not missing a beat. The regular teacher can come back knowing it’s not going to be a day of instruction lost.”

Operating today as a certified women’s business enterprise (WBE), Abel Personnel has long been a champion of women in the workplace. Female staff included one early hire who started as a receptionist and rose to vice president of recruiting during her 42 years with the firm. Another key hire in the early days of the temporary business became vice president of operations.

The Abels are proud of the success of their staff and their placements, many of whom remain friends.

One candidate became an insurance executive after gaining experience with Abel. Another placement started as an entry-level accountant and became president of a significant local company. Whatever the level of the position, Abel has helped thousands of people find rewarding careers over the last 50 years.

“We are not only interested in placing people and doing business, but we were truly interested in helping them,” said Deborah Abel. “My parents taught me that you always treat everyone the way you want to be treated, and that’s why Abel-placed personnel are the right match for the job.”

To learn how Abel Personnel can help you find the right job or the candidate that fits your company’s needs, call 717 561-2222 (Harrisburg), 717 761-8111 (Lemoyne) or email info@abelpersonnel.com

Veteran Finds Ideal Retirement Job as Substitute Teacher: Making a difference for students by George Hargrove

To the students in the schools where I substitute teach, I am “Sarge.” They call me that because I retired in 2011 as a sergeant first class, after 32 years of military service.

One of my learners is a special-needs student who always gives me a salute, which feels great. He asks if I’ll wait for him at the end of the day, and he walks me to my car. Then he runs to the corner while I drive by and yells, “Go Patriots!” I’m from the South, so I yell back, “Go Falcons!”

It touches me that a student goes to that much trouble to show his appreciation and respect. That’s the gratification of substitute teaching. We touch lives, and our students know it. For a retiree like me, now that I’m out of the military, there’s no better way to spend my time.

In my younger days, I didn’t give much thought to learning, but I came to value it later. My 32 years in the Army, including the National Guard and Army Reserve, bookended a fun 10 years with a band playing up and down the East Coast. You can even see me in the movie “The Great Santini,” playing with the band at the high school dance.

And by the way, I can tell you that Robert Duvall is just a nice, normal guy. He sat with me at the piano and sang songs.

So, before I retired from military service, I went back to college, for the higher education that had been interrupted in 1969 by Vietnam. I got my bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate. I got my master’s degree in educational leadership. I got another master’s degree in history.

At my age, it was hard getting full-time jobs in education, so I discovered the freedom and fun of substitute teaching. Today, I substitute at Annville-Cleona School District. The people at A Plus are just about the nicest people I’ve ever worked with, and they handle all the paperwork and taxes. I can accept or turn down any assignment I like.

My students know that I don’t need the money. They ask why I’m doing this. I tell them, “The only thing I ever want in life is a Corvette. I look at y’all, and you’re a bunch of Corvettes to me.”

And you know what? They laugh. They’re at ease. They feel comfortable around me. I share my story. I tell them they need to do their schoolwork because they don’t want to live the life I had to live. For some reason, they appreciate that. They like my honesty. And they know that when Sarge is in the classroom, they have a stickler for discipline, and they can’t play any tricks on me.

Through it all, I think I’m making a difference because I pay attention. I have the time that regular classroom teachers don’t always have to listen to the kids.

Plus, I get to teach a thing or two. A social studies teacher once asked me to teach about Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party, the one that divided the Republicans in 1912 and gave the election to Woodrow Wilson. It just so happened that Donald Trump was running for the Republican nomination, and people were saying he could form a splinter party, so I tied the two together.

The next day, the teacher said, “Wow. They really knew something about the Bull Moose Party.” That certainly was a great way to end the day. There’s a lot of stuff we do on the fly, but moments like that make it all worthwhile.

In one of the schools where I substitute, the assistant principal told me that he can feel the difference on the days when I’m coming in. All the kids are happy, he said. That’s the impact I have. I can help kids understand why school matters. They are amazing, and they have great futures ahead of them. If I can play a part in that, it’s the most rewarding way I can spend my retirement.

George Hargrove lives in North Cornwall Township. He and his wife, Ann, raised five sons. George contracts as a substitute teacher with the Annville-Cleona School District through A+ Teachers, www.abelteachers.com

The First 7 Seconds

Studies show that, when forming an impression on someone new, a person can make their judgment in as little 7 seconds. Sometimes that’s before you can even get a word out. This means that it’s how you look, the energy you give off, even the way you smell that makes your impression for you. In the case of a job interview, it is critical that you make all of these things count. Visit Lindsay Eryn’s website to read more.

Attention Recently Graduated Teachers

Have you recently graduated from college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education? Are you searching for a position that will offer you a variety of opportunities and allow you to grow as an educator? It’s easy to become overwhelmed when searching for a job in the field of education. Finding a permanent position after graduation may be one of the biggest obstacles you could face in the beginning of your teaching career. You may take the time to make yourself known at Teacher’s Recruitment Career Fairs and wait to meet an administrator from a school district, while other certified teachers find positions immediately after graduation.

You may be easily daunted by setbacks, but don’t allow all of your hard work and dedication to fall by the wayside. It’s important to keep searching and expand your horizons while looking for employment in the business world of education. A short-term solution that may benefit you greatly could be substitute teaching. While it may not be a full-time position, substituting teaching allows you to work on a day-to-day basis in a variety of different school districts. This option is always available to certified teachers who are seeking employment. Substitute teaching provides excellent opportunities for you to build upon your classroom management skills, build your resume and give you a great deal of experience.

As a substitute teacher, you will be able to build upon all of your skills and find your niche. Just think, the lesson plans will be provided for you by the teacher who you are filling in for. This circumstance gives you time to prepare yourself for a permanent position, and will help you generate ideas to create your own, unique lesson plans.

Another benefit of substitute teaching, within a variety of different school districts, is that the schools’ administrators and teachers will take notice that you are diverse. They will see that you are capable of delivering lessons with enthusiasm in different settings, and will take notice that the students of different grade levels learn well from you. When a short or long term assignment becomes available, administrators and teachers will be eager to consider you for the position because they will be aware of your dedication as a substitute teacher. When a full time position presents itself, you will already be acquainted with school staff and the student body. This will help increase your chances and present you with an opportunity to be considered as a candidate for the position.

Having a permanent position after graduation would be ideal, but this option isn’t always available. Don’t become discouraged by this factor. Take the time to make yourself known within the different school districts. Build a resume that demonstrates your skills, strengths, diversity and dedication. Substitute teaching provides a great deal of opportunities for you to shine as the excellent educator you are. Once you find a permanent position, you will be able to apply all of the lessons and skills you gained from substitute teaching in your very own classroom.

Call A+ Teachers today to get started 717-561-2222 – ask for Megan or Nancy!

Volunteering Can Help you Find a Job

Giving back to the community!

Giving back to the community can be a very rewarding experience. Helping others gives one a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. While it is important to consider volunteering no matter where you are in your career, what better time to do so than when you are unemployed. Not only will you reap the rewards associated with volunteering, as mentioned above, it may end up assisting you in your job search. Please see the attached article, 5 ways volunteering can help you get a job. Below are some local resources to assist when looking for opportunities to volunteer in the Harrisburg area. Why wait, get out there and volunteer today!

Visit the following websites to find volunteer opportunities in your community.


Read this article for more information.

Happy Medium

Staffing Companies are the “Happy Mediums” Between Employers and Job Seekers

Because “traditional” jobs are becoming very limited in the workforce, more employers are utilizing staffing companies to recruit, pre-screen and refer qualified candidates to their companies. “Solopreneurs”, one who usually operates his/her business single-handedly, and do not require office assistants on a daily basis, find it convenient and cost effective to utilize staffing companies for daily, temp, and short term assignments when additional help is needed.

At the same time, job seekers are relying on staffing companies to do the “traditional” leg work involved with finding a job. Not only does the staffing company make job referrals, but the recruiters, especially the executive recruiters, will also market your skills to business clients. According to an article published by U.S. News, the “number of temp workers should grow to 40 percent by 2020.”

For more information, visit: Click here.

Job search First Impressions!

Did you know that job seekers actually make a first impression before they schedule a
face-to-face interview?

To make a good first impression, read these helpful tips.

  • During the job hunt, your resume and cover letter are really your first impression.
    • If you’re applying for a lot of jobs at once, or even just one position, honing your resume to match the position can go a long way. Nothing highlights your lack of specific interest (not to mention your lack of attention to detail) like a resume objective about another position or cover letter that is addressed to a different company.
  • Want to let a potential employer know you’re probably not the most professional choice?
    • Go ahead and use “cutiebabyxoxo” or “sexylexi” email address, but if you’d rather make a good impression – save that email for friends and family. Create a separate account for your job search using your name – JaneDoe@email.com. More…
  • Typos, poor grammar, and lack of continuity in formatting are also quick resume disqualifiers.
    • Most job seekers don’t meet their potential employers in person first; they meet them on paper: 90 percent of top companies use an applicant tracking system to find their candidates. This is why grammar issues on a resume cause a problem. Poorly edited resumes translate as poor communication skills, inattention to detail, and a lackluster desire for the job in the first place. More…
  • If you are lucky enough to make it into the call pile, you can use your phone presence as a second opportunity to make a good impression.
    • unintelligible messages and mumbling will quickly rule you out for reception and call center positions.More…

First impressions are everything. Put your best foot forward and make sure your resume is prepped and polished for any position you may apply for. Customizing resumes for each potential job is essential. It’s a good idea to change it up every time you apply for a new job, so it is perfectly tailored each time. More

How Important Is Your Resume?

The first impression a potential employer gets of you is your resume. A resume should contain accurate and complete information about education, work experience, and pertinent skill sets. Gaps in work history should be explained on the resume or in a cover letter.
To get your resume onto the “yes” pile, read this article by Allison Green, 8 Red Flags Employers See on Your Resume!