Jobs. Local jobs. Local jobs with minimal college debt. Some of us keep repeating the mantra over and over, but it often seems to fall on deaf ears. With all the talk of burdensome student debt, free college, minimum wages and even a proposed (ugh!) Universal Basic Income, the fact is that right here in the Hudson Valley are opportunities for young people (and their parents!) to alter their expectations and take advantage of the demand for moderately-skilled, technically savvy workers at factories, on farms, and in the trades.
Did you know that tech giant GLOBALFOUNDRIES, now in East Fishkill as well as upstate Malta, NY and Burlington, VT, is hiring? Much news has been made of the jobs that were lost as the company restructured after the IBM deal, but this is a hot industry, and local talent willing to be trained in the technical work of the semiconductor industry is always welcome to apply. Other such companies with varying degrees of technical advancement are also seeking help. Please don’t let the word “technical” scare you. Can you turn a wrench? Are you willing to get your hands dirty? Is your driving license clean? You may possess the necessary qualifications.
Here in Putnam County we have some great opportunities developing as well. For example, take the developments at Tilly Foster Farm. The BOCES culinary program helps students learn a valuable trade that can help find jobs at Hudson Valley restaurants, caterers, and other establishments. And the demand is high for such skills. Meanwhile the 4H and Cornell Cooperative Extension are collaborating to offer a Junior Vet course at the Farm, with future courses in Veterinary Science and Agriculture planned. Again, these are useful skills that can translate into great local careers. Please consider these options when helping to plan your child’s future studies.
-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, “A business advocacy group”