Job applications abundant at resource day

Julia Csanko from ADK ArtRise paints Veda Reeves’ face at the Saranac Lake Central School District and Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s Community Resource Day on Thursday. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

SARANAC LAKE — Saranac Lake Central School District Community School liaison Erika Bezio said last week’s Community Resource Day was so successful, when she sent thank-you notes to the 65 businesses and organizations who showed up, she included a “save the date” for a sequel to the event next spring.

Riverside Park was bustling with families speaking to health service providers, teens picking up job application forms and community agencies meeting and sharing resources this past Thursday at the event organized by SLCSD and the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

There were nearly 65 groups with tables set up in the park, many of which Bezio has connections with through the Community Schools program, which matches students and families in the district with assistance to work through poverty, health issues or homelessness.

“Students were excited to see the different job opportunities and I think it was a little overwhelming for the businesses to see how many other businesses were also looking to hire,” Bezio said.

Mike Martin was recruiting both employees for his contracting business Blackfly Woodworking and Metalworks and members for the Boy Scouts.

Martin said staffing his business has been “terrible.” He attributed this to a lack of trade training in construction. It’s physical work, he said. He’s stopped looking for new jobs, he said, because it wouldn’t be fair to a customer to know he won’t be able to do the work for months.

“I have work until next July, I just don’t have the people to help me,” Martin said. “I feel bad for my customers because they’re being put off.”

Martin has two sons and three daughters, all in scouting. He grew up in scouting, and is the scoutmaster for the Saranac Lake troop. He said attendance in the scouts has dropped off since he was young.

Scouting is a commitment for the parents, too, he said, and long-term commitment from parents has waned. But Martin believes it is a good commitment for parents to make.

He said scouting is “not just another activity.” Scouts learn a lot — not just how to go camping — but the soft skills of responsibility, common sense and survival that make them more responsible at home.

He was a lifelong scouter, so it’s easy for him to understand, but he hopes new parents see what he saw in the organization.

“I think what parents don’t understand is that it can be enjoyable for them, too,” he said.

Kim Godreau, the head of Franklin County personnel office, was advertising for over 20 positions — attorneys, 911 dispatchers, typists and clerks. That’s a lot of positions open at once, she said.

Some of these were non-competitive positions and others required passing the civil service exam to get on a local civil service list.

She said her office is required for hiring in all municipalities in Franklin County — towns, villages and school districts, even some libraries — any position paid through local taxpayer dollars.

Godreau said there was no age requirement, but a high school diploma was required.

She was throwing oranges at kids to bring them in to look at applications. She was looking for seniors graduating from high school, she said, adding that several members of the county staff got in on low level positions when they were young and found a career there.

Joy Cranker and Lisa Meissner from Voters for Change were getting people registered to vote and handing out information sheets on dates for elections.

Cranker said students can pre-register to vote at 16 years old, and that they were excited to be able to vote.

“Even if you have no interest in politics, it’s still worth registering to vote because you don’t have to vote, but if you don’t register, you don’t have that choice,” Meissner said.

Harrietstown Housing Authority Executive Director Sarah Clarkin was handing out applications for a maintenance position which has been open for over two years. This position being open has slowed the turnover of apartments at a time when there’s a housing shortage.

She was also giving people information on housing assistance. HHA provides public housing at the Lake Flower Apartments high-rise and Section 8 subsidized housing vouchers.

Adirondack North Country Gender Alliance Executive Director Kelly Metzgar was walking around the park with her dog Cinnamon Marie under one arm. She wanted to get out of her booth and talk to the other organizations — connecting, chatting and networking.

Metzgar said many of the organizations were interested in LGBTQ awareness trainings for their staff, who work with gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual clients. ANCGA offers these trainings. Some organizations were looking for services for LGBTQ clients. She also said there were parents looking for support and community for LGBTQ children.

She said she was getting a lot of positive feedback and collaboration. Metzgar said the Community Resource Day event and the community in general are “very LGBTQ friendly.”

She said she moved to the village to get experience for a few years and get out — that was 38 years ago.

“This is a very supportive community,” Metzgar said. “I love this community.”

She was also inviting people to the Tri-Lakes Pride Festival in Saranac Lake on June 26.

Job fairs usually cost employers money to attend, but this one was free for businesses to attend.

The Saranac Lake Women’s Civic Chamber were recruiting volunteers, representatives from Adirondack Health Institute were letting people know about their services and St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers was teaching people how to reverse opioid overdoses with NARCAN kits they were handing out.

Most organizations were also handing out waters on a sweltering hot day.


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