Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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Local manufacturing plant struggles to find qualified workers

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Albany/HV: Local manufacturing plant struggles to find qualified workers
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At a time when many people are still out of work, one Saratoga County company is struggling to find enough people to fill its open positions. As YNN's Matt Hunter reports, that struggle centers around training a workforce that suits a constantly developing manufacturing sector.

SOUTH GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – While the equipment has no doubt changed since the mill first opened in the 1860s, the mission at SCA Tissue in South Glens Falls remains the same: Build high quality paper products used worldwide.

SCA produces about half of the bathroom tissue used at American restaurants.

Including the 236 employees in South Glens Falls, the company employs 400 workers in the Capital Region. Executives would like to grow that number, but they say finding skilled workers to fill open positions has been a challenge.

"What we know is they're out there,” said SCA Northeast Operations Site Manager Mike Mound. “But is it because they're going to the AMD's [GlobalFoundries] of the world? Or is it because we've just not done enough here locally to really develop our local talent to be right here, available to us?"

On Friday morning, recently elected State Senator Kathy Marchione was given her first tour of the facility. Her hope is to help the company match recent graduates with their high-tech needs.

"I think it's multi-faceted and I think it'd be exciting and I think bringing people in, bringing youth in to see such jobs and to be part of it and to see the success,” Marchione said. “I think that's a good way to try to get people in here."

The company currently has more than a half-dozen openings, ranging from technicians to electrical engineers. Nearly every piece of equipment runs on computers.

Executives hope new partnerships with local colleges and BOCES programs will help them find the workers they need.

"If you have interest in this kind of work, these may be jobs that young people would want to go toward because there is work and it's local," Marchione said.

"What we're planning for is today,” Mound said. “The need is now and at the same time we'll train for the additional skills we'll need tomorrow but we have a significant need today."

For information on jobs available at SCA, visit the company's corporate website at www.sca.com .

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