OGDENSBURG — 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.
Considering that Acco is periodically the subject of 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, 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 to 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 bookstore in Potsdam.
Acco isn’t alone when it says it has jobs to offer. Kinney Drugs has several openings, but they are companywide. 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.”