Employers at job fair say finding employees has been difficult

Norma Persaud, left, talks with Chiara Rivera, center, and Monique Headley of the NYS Department of Tax and Finance at a job fair at the Glenville Senior Center on Worden Road Friday.

Norma Persaud, left, talks with Chiara Rivera, center, and Monique Headley of the NYS Department of Tax and Finance at a job fair at the Glenville Senior Center on Worden Road Friday.

With lots of businesses looking to hire, the town of Glenville held a business fair Friday inside the Glenville Senior Center hoping to match people seeking jobs with employers in the area. 

The idea stemmed from the town’s Youth Workforce Development Initiative to get more high school graduates employed with some of the local manufacturing businesses, said Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle. The initiative was eventually opened up to everyone, Koetzle said, with a focus on younger people. 

“There’s been a lot of job growth in Glenville,” Koetzle said, noting he’s hearing from many businesses about how they’re hiring. 

However, while people trickled in and out of the four-hour event, some employers said they weren’t seeing the candidate pool they were hoping for. 

“We’ve never had to do a business fair,” said Paula DeVantier, owner of Codino’s Food Inc. 

She said the business has been open for 60 years. 

Usually, they get about three people a day coming in looking for jobs, but lately, she said, little to no one stops by. 

“We can’t even get temps,” said Samuel Kyle, the quality assurance manager. 

DeVantier said they lucked out during the pandemic and didn’t have any employees get sick or need to let anyone go. However, now they want to expand and can’t find anyone. She said they’re looking to hire at least 10 people. 

While the fair was good, she said, many of the applicants she got were too young to work in manufacturing or didn’t have the qualifications for the job. 

“This is not the turnout we expected,” she said. 

She suggested perhaps the next business fair be in a more populated area like the park near Jumpin’ Jacks, which might grab more people’s attention. 

Jen Scott was working the table next to Codino’s and agreed with the idea. Scott was trying to attract people to her workplace – Specialty Quality Packaging – where she’s a human resource generalist. The business, which isn’t located far from Codino’s in the Industrial Park in Schenectady, creates paper carry-out containers. 

She said finding employees has been horrendous. 

She said the company did have some layoffs but has begun bringing people back. The problem though, she said, is that some employees don’t want to come back until the extra unemployment money stops in September.

She didn’t have much luck at the job fair either. 

“I was hoping to at least talk to 20 solid candidates,” she said. 

At around 3 p.m. she had not seen any potential employees. 

Other businesses like The Costumer said the fair gave them an opportunity to see what the labor market is currently like as they begin preparing for what will most likely be a busy fall season now that theaters and schools have reopened. 

“We understand there’s challenges [in hiring], but we haven’t experienced it yet,” said owner Erik Johnsen. 

The 104-year-old company took a hard hit during the pandemic as shows, for which they’d normally provide costumes, didn’t take place. But with states opening up more, Johnsen knows work will pick up quickly in the fall. 

“There’s a lot of pent-up demand,” he said.

He said the job fair offered them the opportunity to start getting the idea that they are hiring into people’s minds.

Loriana Stoeckl was one of the people who stopped by to talk to various employers. The 16-year-old was on the hunt for a summer gig and came with copies of her resume. 

“I’m open to anything,” she said. 

Koetzle said there have been talks about possibly holding another fair in the fall.

Categories: Business, News, Schenectady County

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