The Capital Region Goes on a Hiring Spree
With a low unemployment rate and high private sector employment, the Capital Region’s economy is continuing to see strong job growth as the number of local job openings continues to rise.
Even with employment in the eight-county region’s private sector climbing in 2017 to its highest level in more than 18 years, there is momentum for continued growth. Hinting at this opportunity is the steady rise of Capital Region job postings.
During the first half of 2018, the Capital Region averaged 11,627 beginning-of-the-month job postings, up 5 percent from the first half of 2017 and up 6.5 percent from the first half of 2016, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of New York State Jobs Express data. The occupations that saw the most growth in job postings during the first halves of 2016 and 2017 were protective service, which includes security guards; food preparation and serving-related, which includes chefs; and production, which includes machinists.
The greater Capital Region’s five community colleges – Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC), Schenectady County Community College (SCCC), Columbia-Greene Community College (C-GCC), Fulton-Montgomery Community College (F-MCC) and SUNY Adirondack (SUNY ADK) – are playing a major role in producing the talent for these job openings. In fact, between 2015 and 2017, these community colleges awarded 11,038 associate degrees, according to a CEG analysis of data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). On top of these degrees were 988 certificates awarded during the three-year period.
Last month, the community colleges, with CEG, announced the Capital Community College Career Coalition (C5), through which the schools will work collaboratively to solve the Capital Region’s workforce shortages. On Nov. 2, they will hold a C5 Summit with representatives from educational institutions, legislative groups, nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses.
As the Capital Region’s primary regional economic development organization, CEG has a long history of helping facilitate and connect businesses that are in the need of skilled workers with community colleges to create training programs.
Other CEG activities on this front include:
• Conducting the Pathways Project for Advanced Manufacturing study, under a contract awarded by C-GCC, for the analysis and identification of transferable skills needed by Capital Region manufacturers. In addition to defining a pathway by which individuals could enter into the manufacturing labor market, CEG provided key recommendations to help maintain a strong manufacturing labor pipeline.
• Assisting HVCC in translating the Pathways Project study findings into its a Manufacturing Technology Pathways Program, a short-term, stackable credential training program, or “boot camp,”
• Securing a $250,000 KeyBank grant to support the continuation of HVCC’s manufacturing boot camp as well as the launch of a Certified Production Technician (CPT) program at SCCC.
• Marketing these HVCC and SCCC manufacturing training programs with the goal of having a quarter of their students hail from low- to moderate-income households.
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