Local News

October 10, 2012

Manufacturers search for skilled workforce

Regional businesses talk jobs, potential employees


Brian Hughes, human resources adviser at Bombardier Transportation in Plattsburgh, said it is critical to the successful operation of their assembly lines that people be at work on time. Safety is also another key component of the operation, he said.

“Each assembler is a key to our production,” he said.


Patrick Donahue, manufacturing manager at Fujitsu Frontech in Plattsburgh, which manufactures point-of-sale equipment such as self-check-out scanners, said it obviously helps if someone has technology skills. That would include knowledge of best-practices programs such as the Toyota Production System.

Tim Boshart, operations manager at Georgia-Pacific in Plattsburgh, said they focus on building a collaborative team of employees, people with virtue. The first three attributes they look for in an applicant are integrity, humility and respect.

“If you’re not a good person, we don’t want you,” he said.


Some of the companies are already seeing the effect on the workforce as baby boomers reach retirement age. Christopher Bazan, instrument and electrical training coordinator at International Paper in Ticonderoga, said they are hiring 20 to 30 people a month just to keep up with attrition rates.

Several of the companies have a large international presence. Once an employee gets a foot in the door, the opportunity to grow and work in locations around the world are almost endless.

Pray said Swarovski has 28,000 employees worldwide.

“When you join us, you have the opportunity to go anywhere in the world where Swarovski exists,” she said.

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