Updated 05/25/2012 07:13 PM
Congressman Owens hears from employers
Even with high unemployment rates, New York businesses still have position openings. And in the North Country, there are more than 3,000 available job opportunities. But employers are having a hard time filling them. As our Cara Thomas tells us, on Friday, employers took their concerns Congressman Bill Owens.
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CANTON, N.Y. -- More than a dozen businesses were represented at a round table discussion with Congressman Bill Owens Friday. Companies as far as Plattsburg and Watertown gathered in Canton to share what challenges they face while hiring employees. They say those challenges are leaving more than three thousand jobs in the North Country unfilled.
Emily Campbell from Alice Hyde Medical Center said, "A lot of our focus is getting the unemployed back into the work force, which is very important, but then it's a dynamic system. How do you promote those people and continue to create entry level positions?"
It's a question everyone at the round table discussion had on their minds and through some collaboration between all parties, they began to figure out where their problems lie and some ideas on how to fix them.
Congressman Bill Owens said, "Many people aren't aware of what's going on regionally. They were very focused on what was happening in their institution or community when in fact many of the problems or issues are similar."
Some businesses said many times people turn town entry level jobs because travel is too expensive, a lack of child care, or they are making more money on unemployment. Other businesses say local applicants didn't have the required skills or training for the job. But most of all, a lack of infrastructure, internet and cell phone service and financial struggles in North Country schools force people to move elsewhere and keep others from moving to the area.
"We need to promote the North Country, Northern New York better than we currently do. It's a beautiful place to live. How can we keep our young graduates here to continue to be the leaders in businesses in the North Country," said Campbell.
Many ideas about economic development and training opportunities were put down on paper and Congressman Owens says he plans to help businesses put those ideas into action.
Owens says he is looking forward to a new program that will be implemented throughout the state. The program will allow people to go back to work while still receiving financial supplementation from the government until they can stand on their own two feet.