County-Lockport effort brings workers, employers together
Following the success of a large April job fair held in Niagara Falls, the director of the Niagara County Employment and Training Department has set his sights on bringing workers and employers together in eastern Niagara County.
A second job fair will be held Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon at the Lockport Holiday Inn, 515 S. Transit Road, and will put approximately 50 employers in touch with approximately 400 to 500 workers. Attendance at the job fair is free and open to the public.
Thomas Jaccarino, who has only been on the job as director of employment and training for Niagara County for three months, announced he had been working with leaders in the Lockport area to ensure that eastern Niagara County saw equal benefit from his program, which is headquartered in Niagara Falls.
Jaccarino said he was approached by County Legislators Rick Updegrove, R-Lockport, Wm. Keith McNall, R-Lockport, and Tony Nemi, I-Lockport, along with Mayor Michael W. Tucker, R-Lockport, who urged him to ensure that employment and training fulfill a countywide role.
"Local officials have been very active in promoting the job fair," Jaccarino said. "Legislators Updegrove, McNall, and Nemi, along with the city officials in Lockport - namely, Mayor Tucker - have been very active in promoting the job fair, and are very interested in helping the residents of the eastern end of the county find employment, and find meaningful employment."
Jaccarino noted that the April job fair had seen significant successes, and said he hoped that his agency's thrust into eastern Niagara County benefits participants.
"We're anticipating 400 to 500 people will walk through the doors," Jaccarino said. "In the past, it proved successful, with people getting positions based on their participation in the job fair, so we're hoping that people come out, meet the businesses and put their best foot forward."
The employers Jaccarino has lined up for the Lockport job fair range from equipment operators and maintenance mechanics, to clerical workers, to the health care field, and even to one local television station.
"We currently have approximately 50 businesses that are actively recruiting for positions," Jaccarino said. He noted that the size of the venue limited the job fair to 50 businesses, but that a few openings remained, and urged businesses interested in participating in the Lockport job fair or future job fairs to contact Marilyn Behm at 278-8236. "If they're interested in recruiting, they should contact her as soon as possible."
Lockport's mayor said he was pleased with Jaccarino's focus on both ends of Niagara County, as well as Niagara County's efforts to make services available to residents of his city.
"I'm looking forward to it, and I'm glad it's here - it's going to be a great event," Tucker said, praising county leaders for providing a service at no cost to city taxpayers. "I appreciate employment and training doing this here. We do have this wonderful relationship with Niagara County and other municipalities, and we're all looking to try to find ways to provide services at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers. And this job fair is a good example of that."
Tucker said he plans to visit the Lockport job fair to ensure that it adequately meets the needs of eastern Niagara County residents, and noted that a long relationship with Jaccarino, who served as North Tonawanda's city clerk before becoming director of employment and training, had helped planning for the Lockport job fair come off smoothly.
"I've known Tom for a long time, and ever since he has been at Niagara County, we've had a great relationship," Tucker said. "We've opened a dialogue, and opened the doors of conversation to doing some great things. He's reached out to us, and we're looking forward to doing many more things with Tom in the future."
Tucker said that, given the national economic malaise, efforts like the Lockport job fair have proven critical to help residents of the city and all of eastern Niagara County gain access to good jobs.
"I know a lot of people are out there looking for information and looking for jobs, and I'm glad it's here," Tucker said. "It's going to be a great benefit, and a good thing for everybody."
Attendees are encouraged to bring their most up-to-date résumés. For more information on the Lockport job fair, contact employment and training at 278-8108 or the state Department of Labor at 433-6766.