Economic Director Advises Job Seekers In Greenburgh

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Job seekers listen Thursday in Greenburgh to Laurence Gottlieb's advice on the Westchester County economy and job market. Photo Credit: Samantha Kramer
Laurence Gottlieb, director of the Westchester County Office of Economic Development, addresses job seekers Thursday at the Greenburgh Public Library. Photo Credit: Samantha Kramer
A slide from a presentation Thursday by Westchester Economic Development Director Laurence Gottlieb illustrates the length and depth of unemployment after various recessions. Photo Credit: Samantha Kramer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — If you're unemployed in Greenburgh, health care is the area to look for jobs, according to Laurence Gottlieb, Westchester County's economic development director.

Gottlieb presented his data and advice Thursday morning at the Greenburgh Public Library in an event hosted by the Westchester Jewish Community Services' Women Helping Women and Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner. Gottlieb gave a snapshot of how businesses have developed in Westchester County and what the future holds for the area's job market.

"I want to set for you a realistic picture of what's happening out there," Gottlieb said. "The economy is getting better — but only for those that are seeing where the marketplaces go."

Gottlieb said the market is not the same as it once was for the event's 75 or so attendees, mostly middle-aged and in search of jobs. Job seekers need to read the market better for areas that are actually hiring, or they will just end up "fishing in a dead lake," Gottlieb said.

Health care, education and finance are the major areas hiring in Westchester County. Gottlieb told the attendees not to be worried if their degrees or skills didn't match that — many skills are now being blended. For example, he said, an English major can find a job in the health care field in technical writing.

"You need to refocus the skills that you have into areas that are more viable," he said.

Using data, Gottlieb showed that Westchester County is a good area to look for jobs — but only if one has a college degree. Westchester County's high cost of living is pushing young adults who can't afford its housing out of the county, leaving only successful residents mostly with bachelor's or higher degrees. This can make the competition difficult, he said.

Westchester County's unemployment rate sits at about 7.6 percent, but only 4 percent of the county's college graduates are unemployed, according to Gottlieb's data. It may be difficult for some to return to school, but even just taking a class or an online class to fit a position's description will help boost one's resume, he said.

Susan Lupul of Irvington said she attended the event to gain some input after being unemployed for several months. Lupul said Gottlieb's presentation made sense: The job market is ever-changing, so a person's skill sets should be, too.

"He gave a good overview of the current trends," Lupul said. "I'm trying to blend my skills into a certain list of areas."

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Comments (2)


As for "many skills are now blended", think about that for a moment. Does Mr. Gottlieb really believe that technical writing in the health care field was ever handled by those wearing white lab coats or that "writers" with degrees in English were the authors.
So with Mr. Gottlieb falling back into the familiar rhythms of the shattered American immigrant's dream (even though it can't happen in affluent Westchester) own your own home, lease your own car, send your children to college...remember that many of the children of today who lack the brainwave ability to secure employment in the newest dot com startup (college degrees in this industry remain secondary to the vision) graduate with a gap and cown ensemble costing Westchester moms and dads upwards of $200,000 (not including the beer tab at the pub du jour ($9 per draft) so that their heirs can hold down jobs clerking at CVS, answering phones at a call center or stocking shelves at Walmart -- if they're lucky. Or be as lucky and assist Mr. Gottlieb in adding to his collection of charts and pie diagrams for his next power point presentation.
Here's a novel thought. Remember those little devices that made everyone's life simpler and put the world at their fingertips. Even as they shrunk the world and shrunk their own size, these devices came into their own because they fulfilled their promise of being labor saving, less costly to own and operate and reduce the need for retaining the big cost in anyone's P & L statement: employees.
Yes, it is not the bossa nova but the computer/laptop/notepad/smart phone that has substituted for all those college degrees in need of costly health plans.
The reality is that the end of the line is now; the last train just arrived in the station LATE. And what it means is that lots of those white collar jobs have vanished because that is what computers do: replace humans. Leaving in their wake, lots and lots of low paying service jobs for drones to fill so that those who already established their dynasties could shop or eat out before rushing home to the one, true, new, equal opportunity, time filler --- blogging. With or without college degree, no experience required, no courses to be taken, no salary.
And if that is not to your fancy, there's always conducting truly useless seminars at the Library. I'd like to think that middle aged college graduates of the sixties and seventies can still read and understand without Mr. Gottlieb's assistance. If one were an unemployed book editor or unemployed bond trader or even apparel buyer and after a year could find no employment in their own field, that this educated class would be able to reach the same conclusion as Mr. Gottlieb's peppered talk: find the new millennium equivalent of "Go West!" on their own.
Or else hie thee hither to McDonald's, Walmart or purveyors of previously owned
Keep the faith baby does not hold water in a world which has already changed.
Half full or half empty; the glass still holds the same quantity even after spillage and evaporation. It's just that there are more drinkers lining up and no one is unpacking larger glasses.


I count 29 persons seated. There are just a few more rows not in the picture so lets be generous, wave our wand and say "poof, there were 40 who came to the non-event, event. Including speakers, reporters and friends. Whither went the "75". In any case, I believe the seated legal capacity of the room is 183.
Either people aren't interested, college graduates have jobs and don't attend these functions which keep Mr. Gottlieb in gainful employment or, those who are unemployed are not going to benefit from this type of gathering.
Apparently the event was not well by Westchester Republicans who were unable to muster another mobile Romney flash crowd.
Perhaps they were other occupied learning new skill sets.
What I assume was not discussed since no reference to it appears in the article is that the available jobs that do exist locally are in the service sector and these mostly offering 20 hours of employment.
And while some jobs do go out of fashion (buggy whip manufacturing comes to mind) I'm not so sure that I buy into the "job market is ever changing" as though this reflects "overnights". Clearly new industries create jobs as does an aging population to take care of those living well beyond the age 74 or age 81 burial stats. Which is why those who have already retrained themselves from the Mad Men age of selling soap and cigarettes have migrated to selling "financial" services to cushion that lengthier retirement.
However, if the workforce is changing "overnight" this also bodes poorly for what used to called "experience" which would no longer be necessary if the "managerial class" finds itself migrating to the employment flavor of the day.

So what did Mr. Gottlieb bring to the table? Is he so talented that he single handed was able to recognize that Westchester is now home to more
senior citizen home care and assisted living "opportunities"? Did he watch the Graduate as a youngster and remember the eureka moment: "plastics"? What Mr. Gottlieb tosses out is the notion that by taking a class or two, you will suddenly be giving Dr. House a run for his money (House also now unemployed)
when what he means is that more nursing "aides" are needed to give sponge baths to those unable to bathe on their own. So much for college trained jobs going begging.
to be cont.

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