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Ogdensburg job fair attracts hundreds of employment seekers

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Acco Brands Inc. Human Resources Manager William F. Chapman had good news to report Wednesday for job hunters at the second annual Career and Job Expo put on by state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton.

The Illinois-based office products conglomerate has 15 job openings in its distribution center on Route 37 in Ogdensburg.

Considering that Acco is periodically the subject of gloom and doom rumors of shutdown and job cuts, Mr. Chapman was pretty pleased.

“It’s much more pleasant to be in a hiring mode than in a layoff mode,” he said.

For the more than 200 people who packed the Oddfellows Hall on Linden Street to press Mr. Chapman and 64 other local and regional businesses and agencies for jobs, the Acco table was a magnet.

“I don’t want to not work,” said Sylvia J. Earle, of Potsdam.

Mrs. Earle, 58, has a bachelor’s degree in social work from SUNY Potsdam. For the last year and a half, she has been a receptionist at the American Red Cross, Potsdam, under a federally funded training program. She’s open for something new, but her age may be a detriment.

“They don’t want to take a chance on you,” she said.

Alex G. Weil, 19, first has to figure out where he wants take a chance. The 2011 Potsdam Central School graduate enrolled in the mechanical engineering program at SUNY Canton, but quit because he didn’t like it.

“I have no idea what I want to do,” Mr. Weil said. “I’m doing some soul-searching.”

While he’s searching his soul, Mr. Weil is working for minimum wage as a cashier at the Clarkson University book store in Potsdam.

Acco isn’t alone when it says it has jobs to offer and they are here. Kinney Drugs has several openings, but they are company-wide. That means beyond St. Lawrence County.

“We hand out the application and we go from there,” said Paul F. Murphy, who manages Kinney’s Ogdensburg store.

Mrs. Ritchie said the concept of bringing together those who want jobs with those who have jobs to offer now or in the future is a proven success.

“More than 100 people got jobs last year,” she said. “It’s a priority to get something like this in place so they can talk to each other.”

Businesses and agencies participating on Wednesday were:

Adirondack Economic Development Corp., Ansen Corporation, Atlantic Testing Laboratories, Attain Lab, Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club, St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services Adult and Continuing Education, Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country, Clarkson School of Business and Graduate Programs and Clarkson University.

Also: Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, state Department of Labor, Dollar General, E.J. Noble Hospital of Gouverneur, NYFidelis Care, Fort Drum Employment Readiness Program, Health Services of Northern New York Inc., Hospice and Pallative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union, JMS Mechanicals, Kelly Services, Lowes, Mary Kay Cosmetics and Massena Independent Living.

Also: Massena Memorial Hospital, National Tractor Trailer School, Nice & Easy, Northern Area Health Education Center, Northern New York Newspapers, state Park Police, Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad, Penski, Plumbers and Steamfitters Local No. 73, Price Chopper and Primerica Financial Services

Also: Q Country 102.9/YES FM/PAC 98.7 SeaComm Federal Credit Union, Slic Network Solutions Inc., St. Joseph’s Home, St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, St. Lawrence County One Stop Career Center, St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union, St. Lawrence NYSARC, St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Sunoco Inc., SUNY Canton Military and Veterans Student Services, SUNY Canton Resume Help/Interview Coaching/Tips on Job Hunting and SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center.

Also: SUNY Canton CREST Center, SUNY Potsdam Graduate Studies, SUNY Potsdam human Resources,Tarbell Management Group, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, United Helpers Nursing Home, U.S. Air Force, Navy and Visalus Health Challenge, Walgreens, Walmart, Whalen, Davey & Looney and Youth Advocate Program.

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