Watertown— One day after the Presidential elections, on November 7, 2012 the WorkPlace will be holding their 4th Annual Career Exploration Expo at The WorkPlace. ABC50 spoke with Executive Director of Jefferson-Lewis Workforce Investment Board, Cheryl Mayforth. Cheryl told ABC50 that the expo will be divided into different job sectors small business, manufacturing, health care, hospitality and tourism.
John Gould from small business development center at Jefferson Community College will be holding a small business workshop at the expo. There will be a panel of employers available from manufacturing businesses. Ms. Mayforth informed ABC50 that manufacturing jobs are important and the panel of manufacturing employers would answer questions, letting job seekers know what they would be looking for in a prospective new employee. “Manufacturing has recovered quite well and many of them are hiring today” said Cheryl Mayforth and went on to discuss the importance of the hospitality and tourism sector.
Hospitality and tourism will also be a panel discussion of employers, just as the manufacturing panel will let people know what they are looking for in job seekers. There have been a number relatively new hotels and restaurants open within Jefferson County.
Fort Drum’s regional health care planning organization is coming over to talk about careers and healthcare. Due to Fort Drum and the influx of new Army families coming into the area, many can review introduction to what careers are available in Jefferson County. Cheryl stated that job seekers can see, “Who’s who and what’s what especially for military spouses new to Jefferson County looking for work.” She went on to state that this program is good for civilians, military spouses or otherwise military members transitioning out of the military.
Cheryl Mayforth has been working with the Jefferson-Lewis Workforce Investment Board for 4.5 years. However, she has been working in vocational counseling for over 24 years. In her expert opinion, the recent metropolitan job growth increase that was released from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not reflect all communities nation wide. The new metropolitan unemployment numbers, which was released just yesterday, stated that out of 372 metropolitan areas 345 of those were lower in unemployment than last September. However, 22 areas have higher unemployment rate and 5 percent remained the same as last year. Despite the labor market in Jefferson County rising from last year at 44,000 to this year at 51,000 Jefferson County still fits into that 5 percent of the country where the unemployment rate remains virtually the same as last year. Ms. Mayforth went on to explain Jefferson County’s unemployment numbers in further detail:
“The unemployment number here in Jefferson County is 8.8 and it has not changed, it’s the same as last year. In August, it was 8.9 and now it is 8.8 but a tenth is not enough and we consider it basically the same. Currently on Fort Drum, there is a reduced amount of civilian jobs. We’ve lost a lot of public sector jobs including teachers- 3 years of lay offs. We’ve had a loss of construction jobs and civilian positions at Fort Drum and local government. New businesses pop up and they are the strength of the North Country. We need to strengthen it more with Fort Drum being a strong economic driver and the Canadian shopper is also very important. So, the number of unemployed is not necessarily going up or down, but they’ve added more jobs. There are 4,400 in Jefferson county alone are unemployed.”
When you look at the national picture Cheryl Mayforth explained, one needs to look at things differently from a North Country perspective. According to Ms. Mayforth’s expert analysis, it generally takes Jefferson County longer to recover from a recession and feels there are other communities like Jefferson County, still feeling the recession and slow job growth. Ms. Mayforth commented on this Friday’s unemployment numbers release, “Regardless if the national unemployment rate is slightly lower Friday- it will not be enough and isn’t enough for those like Jefferson County.”
Ms. Mayforth did comment that if there are lower unemployment numbers, the low numbers may build consumer confidence. Jefferson County has suffered 70 percent job cut funding where 3000 jobs were left unfilled due to the lack of job training. WIA (Workforce Investment Act) currently has 2 bills in Congress for the authorization for more Federal job training funds. According to Ms. Mayforth additional federal funding would help train those that are not qualified for the 3,000 jobs that go unfilled due to lack of training and skill set.
For those interested in attending the workforce expo, the information is below.
4th Annual Career Exploration Expo at The WorkPlace
Date: November 7, 2012 Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Event Description: Looking for a job? The staff at The WorkPlace invite you to attend our Career Exploration Expo. There will be Workforce Professionals onsite discussing a variety of topics.
10:00 am - How to Start Your Own Business
11:00 am - Secret Tips to Manufacturing/Production Jobs
1:00 pm - Maximize Your Job Search Using Social Media
2:00 pm - Hospitality & Retail Trades
3:00 pm - Healthcare Careers