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Economic chief talks about labor challenge

PENN YAN-- Steve Griffin, chief executive officer of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, made a presentation at the Penn Yan school board meeting Wednesday, Feb. 1 about the critical importance of the area's labor pool.
Griffin said, "In business the old saying: location, location, location has now turned into labor, labor, labor. Don't get me wrong, businesses looking to locate to an area still want to know how close a property is to the interstate and other transportation sources, but the labor question has now become an important consideration." Griffin added, "It's really a labor challenge."
Griffin said new companies don't only just want to know that they can staff up for their businesses initial opening, but they also want to be sure that they can replenish their labor needs when the company deals with retirements and normal employee turnover. Griffin reminded school board members how important it is for students throughout the region to graduate with 'career ready' skills. Griffin said whether a student is going directly into the work force or if they are going to college, it is so important that we have our students prepared to be successful in a new job in this area. Griffin added, "And if they go on to college, we want the graduates to have jobs in this area that will be attractive to them."
Griffin estimates there are currently some 200 jobs that are not being filled in the area. He added, "In 3-5 years, I believe that number will become 500 jobs to be filled. We just don't have the pool of candidates currently for many of those jobs."

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