Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fayette's Unnamed Companies Needs

Some 42 companies in Fayette County need workers. Please identify.

Honest appraisal: Panelists reflect on Fayette workforce
By James Pletcher Jr., Herald-Standard
Updated 04/25/2007 12:31:22 PM EDT

Most of the participants in a workforce and housing summit Tuesday agreed that Fayette County is a great place to live.

But it has its problems, among which are illegal drugs, inadequate housing, workers with too few skills and work ethics and an apathetic populace.

Fay-Penn Economic Development Council hosted its first Fayette County Workforce and Housing Summit at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus. There were 13 panelists representing business, education, health care and industry who talked about the problems they have in recruiting and keeping employees and a need for more medium-range housing and rental units.

The consensus was that while the county continues to have an unemployment rate among the highest in the state, it lacks job seekers with necessary skills even for entry-level positions.

Employers also find that people they hire lack basic work ethics, such as showing up on time, working when they want rather than when required and not calling their employer to tell them when they won't be at work on a given day.

In terms of housing, the panelists said there are not enough rental properties for both entry-level and upper-management workers. There also is a dearth of ready-to-move-in housing for people across all income ranges. Some of the employers offered personal stories of spending months trying to find a home through newspaper advertisements, local real estate firms and word of mouth.

Other issues they named were a lack of events aimed at young professionals, concerns about personal safety, public transportation and a Fayette County community Web site listing general information...

Leo T. Krantz, Fay-Penn chairman, said the purpose of the summit was to "discuss good news. It's a fact we are having workforce problems and housing problems and that shows we are expanding,'' he said, adding that "10 or more new technology companies have opened in Fayette County in the last four years.''

"This is the first time we have brought a group of employers together to discuss their needs,'' said Mike Krajovic, Fay-Penn president. Krajovic added that in February, Fay-Penn polled 42 Fayette County companies who said in the next 12 to 18 months "they will need to hire 1,900 workers...

Desperately seeking able, willing workers
By Michael Cope
Daily Courier
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Help wanted: Welder. Nurse. Electro-optical systems engineer.
Despite a steady 5 percent unemployment rate, a panel of nine executives assembled Tuesday at the 2007 Work Force & Housing Summit said there are hundreds of jobs to fill in Fayette County.

But there are few skilled, responsible workers.

"The purpose of this summit is to discuss good news," said Leo Krantz, chairman of Fay-Penn Economic Development Council, which sponsored the event at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus. "The fact that we have a work force problem shows that progress is being made in our county."

According to a Fay-Penn study, 42 companies in Fayette County will hire 1,900 workers during the next 12 to 18 months -- primarily the blue-collar manufacturing jobs that support middle-class families.

The poll reached just a tiny percentage of the 2,900 companies operating in the county.

"The people who command this subject are the managers facing these recruiting problems," said Michael Krajovic, president of Fay-Penn.

Nine panelists representing a cross-section of local industry -- trucking, construction, hospitality, technology -- disparaged the local work force.

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