NORWICH – A number of area employers are struggling with challenges in hiring and retaining workers.
The Chenango-Delaware-Otsego(CDO) workforce mission is to provide quality service in a coordinated, user-friendly manner, meeting the needs for job seekers, workers and businesses.
CDO Workforce Manager Tylena Daniels said, “We don’t really know where the workers are. We have many openings and mostly in manufacturing. Our unemployment rate right now is low but there is also a lack of people applying for jobs.”
In order to boost application companies are hosting local job fairs
“What we’ve been doing is having mini job fairs, usually about twice a month but March and April will only be one each month. A variety of employers come in and meet with the applicants one on one. It's not like its all online. They're seeing the people. It works good for both employers and job seekers,” she said.
The mini job fair is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 9, and will be held at the CDO workforce center located at 1 O'Hara Drive in Norwich.
The employers attending will be: The Raymond Corp., First Transit, Amphenol, NYS OPWDD, Securitas, UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital.
Daniels said, “People have to apply online and once a job seekers application is submitted, the computer uses advanced technology to match the job requirements to those in the application or resume. If matching key words are not in their application, the application may not make it through and might not pull down to the employer. This could be one reason why employers are struggling to find employees.”
CDO just started helping people use the correct key words, guiding their resumes and applications. Job seekers can also attend a workshop before the mini job fair. The workshop will explain how to choose the correct key words to match the job description.
“We’re trying everything because we don’t know why people aren't returning to work. We don't have the exact answers, so every little thing we do is important,” Daniel said.
The Raymond Corporation is a major employer in the area with its corporate headquarters in Greene, the company is expanding in the year ahead with hundreds of potential openings.
Raymond Corporation Executive Vice President Steve VanNostrand said, the “National workforce demographics and participation rates are changing resulting in a challenging labor market.
“However, The Raymond Corporation is dedicated to the growth and revitalization of the surrounding areas providing support through increased job growth, innovation through products and solutions such as lithium-ion battery manufacturing, and collaboration with the community and industry organizations. We are committed to attracting and investing in our employees with the programs that support their growth and in return strengthen our company and our local communities now and for the future.”
“To meet our customer’s needs for forklifts, Raymond’s need to fill jobs in 2023 is a priority. With a strong job market and a multitude of job opportunities that are available, potential employees have the opportunity to find jobs that are the right fit for them. As a potential employer, we continually are evolving to fit the needs of the workforce,” VanNostrand said.
Raymond is dedicated to educating students prior to their entry into the workforce with a co-op program in which students work as valuable team members.
The company is investing in their infrastructure as well as their workforce. In 2023, with the expansion of their manufacturing facility and addition of second and third shifts, Raymond plans to hire up to 500 new employees at headquarters in Greene. They’ve taken a long-lens view of alternative energy adoption, including collaborative efforts with the community organizations and industry associations, as well as a strong focus on forwarding education initiatives to develop future talent and technologies.