In the midst of a slew of bad job news in Upstate New York -- the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant potentially closing in Oswego County, Alcoa leaving Massena -- the New York State Labor Department is trying to pair job seekers with companies that are hiring right now.
Two hundred businesses offering 5,000 jobs jammed the OnCenter in what New York State Labor Department officials are calling one of the biggest job fairs they’ve held in New York state. Department spokesman Cullen Burnell says the jobs run the gamut.
"We’ve got everything from minimum wage jobs up to professional management level jobs. We’ve got large businesses here; we’ve got small businesses here. We’re trying to give the job seeker an idea of what the local economy looks like,” said Burnell.
Amanda Samuelson from Baldwinsville is hopeful. She’s looking for a job in a medical field, but is finding it hard to break in.
"It can be, especially if you graduate with a certain type of degree.In my field I went for ultrasound, and there aren’t very many positions in that field. So it can be difficult. So I’m just about open to anything,” she said.
Opening the door at the fair was Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who says more needs to be done to get upstate New Yorkers working. For one thing, she says the state needs to do a better job to get the word out about the high tech jobs that are out there.
“Reaching high school young people especially in the STEM fields; reaching out to young women. All over the state I’m trying to encourage girls to get interested in math, science and technology engineering fields. Because there are so many jobs going unfilled in those areas.It is mind boggling,” said Hochul.
About 2,000 job seekers showed up to look for work.