Syracuse, CNY companies challenged finding skilled workers

Local News

The Economic Forecast for Central New York looks good for 2019, including projected sales increases and more job opportunities.

The region can expect another year of modest but steady growth relative to the national norm according to M&T Bank Regional Economist Gary Keith, keynote speaker Wednesday for the CenterState CEO 2019 Economic Forecast breakfast.

According to CenterState CEO’s forecast 75 percent of it’s members expect growth in sales.

Another 55 percent expect to see a growth in jobs/hiring for 2019.

However, one of the biggest challenge companies say they face is the ability to attract and retain the right people in the right positions.

They add another difficulty is the ability to invest in and develop the skills of the existing workforce.

Economic leaders say education and training needs to be one area of focus, as well as the region’s huge untapped labor pool.

“These are people that are traditionally disadvantaged workers, maybe they’re people with criminal convictions, people who never got a high school education that they have a tremendous amount of interest and apptitude to work and we need to do a better job as business community of tapping into those labor pools and helping put those people back into productive employment,” says CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson.

He also says another target area is attracting and retaining more talent in the region.

“The reality is is that our population hasn’t been growing as quickly as we’d like and we have a wealth of opportunity to offer people from outside the region. So we’ve got to sell our quality of life and we’ve got to sell the economic opportunity that exits,” Simpson tells NewsChannel 9.

TCG Player, one of the area’s hottest tech companies, is doing just that to fill it’s many open jobs.

Company CEO Chedy Hampson says, “We sell them on what is great about Central New York and that is the cost of living, the booming downtown, the tech scene that’s starting to blossom and shows lots of opportunities for them and their families so they don’t have to worry about it being just one 
company.”

TCG Player is an online marketplace for fantasy trading cards, with TCG shipping and receiving tens of thousands of cards every day.

Hampson tells NewsChannel 9, “We need entry level people fresh out of college for some of our warehousing and CSR roles, but we’re also looking for high end technology people.  Now we’re recruiting executives from across the country to join our company as well, so its a range from the bottom all the way up to the top.”

The company has 20 immediate opening it is looking to fill and plans to hire an additional 200 in the next few years.

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