Despite national unemployment falling under 1 million claims for the first time since March, Commissioner of Employment and Training for Rensselaer County Brian Williams said unemployment numbers are still high in the Capital Region at about 10 percent.
“When you’re dealing with folks that are about to be evicted, that are currently unemployed that can’t pay their car payments and what not, a job is really key to them at this point,” Williams said.
Williams is working to help people find employment at the new distribution center. There are 1,500 people a month currently seek help from his office due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is definitely going to be a lifeline for folks that really need to get their foot back into the workforce so they can start paying their bills and really put food on the table for their families,” Williams said.
“Monday morning we had put out the notice on our social media page that the jobs were posted, and what not, and as of last check this morning, that post, that small post has been seen by 40,000 folks,” Williams said.
There was initially push back from residents against Schodack Town Supervisor David Harris when the plans came out to build the warehouse. Now that there’s a need in jobs, Harris said he hopes people will have a change of heart.
“[Amazon] really upped their ante. They first told us 800 [jobs] and now they’re looking at between 800 and 1,000 jobs,” Harris said. “$15, $16, an hour plus the benefits on top of it, now you’re talking a $40-$45,000 a year job,” Harris said.
With a lot still uncertain about how the pandemic will impact tax revenue, the supervisor said the town plans to save as much money as they can that is generated from the warehouse.