8:27am

Thu January 23, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Maffei uses job fair to connect workers with rising employment sectors

Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei has some concerns about central New York’s economic recovery, which is why he held a job fair in Liverpool earlier this week.

Maffei says compared to where the central New York economy was a few years ago, things are getting better. But he says more needs to be done.

"It’s just not expanding enough to give me confidence that it’s going go be stable and sort of a healthy economy,” Maffei said.

The congressman says it’s the uneven rate of recovery that has him rattled, and it’s why he will continue to support some of the safety net programs that are in danger of being cut.

“When I advocate to continue safety net programs like unemployment and food stamps, it’s largely because you could be looking for work and not find something," Maffei explained. "And I think in central New York, that’s very plausible.”

The Democrat says that’s also why he’s focusing his economic agenda on those people who have been left behind without jobs.

“One of the things I’ve been working the hardest on is to make sure we do have important safety net programs continue to be in place, and that we do connect people who may have been unemployed for a little while, they’ve been laid off, with new kinds of jobs,” Maffei said.

Maffei says while jobs in some sectors in central New York have moved out of the area, there are other jobs taking their place. Part of that bumpy recovery has left a different kind of economic landscape, which Maffei says makes it more challenging to get people back to work.

"There are different kinds of sectors where you may not see those jobs coming back," Maffei said. "But hopefully there are other jobs in higher tech sectors and tourism and other kinds of things that are making up for those old jobs. And the statistics show that. But people need to be prepared and they need to be networking in those other sectors.”

He suggests the challenge now is to connect skilled workers with these new kinds of job opportunities, and much of that depends on networking and continuing education. Maffei organized a job fair in Syracuse this week that not only included prospective employers, but also networking and education opportunities.

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