ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Employment and job hunts in the age of COVID-19 are tricky prospects. As a new year begins and industries large and small are short on workers, the state of New York is doing its part to amplify the need wherever it can.
On Wednesday, it was the North County region’s turn. A virtual job fair hosted by the New York State Department of Labor went live, starting out with over 900 open jobs, spanning everything from the postal service to local news. By mid-afternoon, plenty of positions had already seen a lot of attention.
The fair, focusing mainly on larger employers in the upper Adirondacks, is one of a set that the Department of Labor has set into the coming days. One for the Long Island area is set for Thursday. Four more are set for next week.
Postings are split into five categories: Arts, recreation, media and educational services; healthcare and social assistance; manufacturing; public administration and retail trade; and transportation, warehousing, construction and agriculture. The goal, according to the state, is to amplify the job hunt for those employers having a difficult time filling posts in the era of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jobs range widely, meaning there’s a chance the right fit might be waiting for anyone looking for a job, regardless of skillset. The Malone YMCA had postings listed for a group fitness instructor, child care staffing, and a personal trainer. There are also jobs essential to the life and communication of the region, including U.S. Postal Service postings for mail carriers, assistants and support employees.
Some areas, like the Healthcare and Social Assistance categories, shed light on how urgent the need is in crucial places. While some businesses have four or five job listings posted, The University of Vermont Health Network has 26 positions listed between its Alice Hyde and Champlain Valley centers. The Arc Jefferson – St. Lawrence has 39 postings all on its own.
The Department of Labor is using the fair as part of a bigger initiative to use online means and resources to help businesses and prospective employees alike. In addition to other job fairs, the state is working with Coursera to offer a free online training platform offering job training through nearly 4,000 distinct courses. The list of skills that can be taken from the program is long, according to the state website, including everything from team management and business writing to how to operate motor controls and build computer coding skills.
Next week, four more virtual job fairs are planned. They include Tuesday, Jan. 11, focusing on the Finger Lakes region; Wednesday, Jan. 12, on New York City jobs; and two on Thursday, Jan. 13, including one on the Capital Region and one for jobs at Syracuse University.