News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Madhuri Kommareddi

Otsego Has Jobs; No One To Do Them


Otsego Has Jobs;

No One To Do Them

However, Workforce Training $$,

‘Knowledge Economy’ Offer Hope

Chris Chase, president of Directive, the Oneonta technology company, contributes in a breakout session on attracting “knowledge workers” at today’s Workforce Summit. He is flanked by Directive’s Kristen Velasco, left, and Kerri Green, new president of Commerce Chenango, the chamber or commerce there. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Madhuril Kommareddi, new director of the Cuomo Administration’s Office of Workforce Development, reports on a “historic” $176 million allocation.

ONEONTA  – Otsego County has more jobs than workers to do them.

That message surfaced from a number of presenters at today’s Pathways to Prosperity, the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s second annual Workforce Summit at SUNY Oneonta’s Morris Hall:

  • Madhuril Kommareddi, Governor Cuomo’s new Workforce Development director, appointed in May, reported the Upstate unemployment rate is 3.8 percent – 4 percent is considered “full employment.” With that in mind, she said, the focus needs to be on “employer-driven skills,” training people for specific skills for jobs that aren’t being filled.
  • “There are a lot of jobs to fill, and not a lot of candidates to fill them,” said Perry Dewey, DCMO BOCES superintendent, who served on a panel with two other BOCES’ superintendents, Nick Savin and Sandra Sherwood. Within 25 miles of Sidney, Dewey reported, there are 800 available jobs, and 20 percent of workers are due to retire within five years.
  • “Our challenge now is our low unemployment rate,” echoed Christian Harris, the state Department of Labor’s market analyst for Otsego County. He also reported that the number of jobs available in the county has dropped from 26,000 to 22,000, although economist now view the county as a “job growth” area.

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