COBLESKILL — More than 20 employers are signed up to attend the Schoharie County Regional Job Fair on Friday, looking to fill roles ranging from forklift mechanic to bus operator and nurse to teaching assistant. The question is how many jobseekers will attend the free event, scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. at the Walmart parking lot at 139 Merchant Place in the village.
“We definitely have a labor shortage,” said Nancy Reccio, a business services representative with FMS Workforce Career Center, which is sponsoring the job fair. “Many employers are looking for workers and are doing whatever necessary to attract workers,”
Reccio said in prior years, as many as 200 people would show up to a job fair like the one scheduled for Friday. This year, similar job fairs have been attracting no more than 75 jobseekers, she said.
Employers attending Friday’s fair include The Arc Lexington, the Cobleskill–Richmondville Central School District, New York State Department of Corrections, Alden Equipment, St. Mary’s Hospital and Healthcare Network, and Stewart’s.
Jobseekers can get resume assistance at their local FMS Workforce Career Center in preparation for the job fair. Offices are in Amsterdam, Gloversville and Cobleskill, and staff can assist in writing and printing professional quality resumes.
For more information about the FMS Workforce Career Center’s services or the job fair, call 518-842-3676.
Across the region, employers are using creative strategies to attract workers.
For instance, Turning Stone Resort and Casino recently spent more than $10 million to build an employee housing village in the hopes it would attract workers, according to Joel Barkin, Oneida Indian Nation’s vice president of communications.
The Villages at Stoney Creek features 50 apartment-style units that are available to new hourly employees at a heavily subsidized rate. Employees pay $550 for a one-bedroom apartment, $650 for a two bedroom and $750 for a three bedroom, and the units feature laundry, parking, some utilities and roundtrip shuttle service to Turning Stone.
“It provides a level of flexibility that has not been afforded for hourly workers,” Barkin said. “We think this is really a thoughtful and innovative approach to setting ourselves that much further apart from other employers.”
Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected] and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.