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Record number of companies participate in Chamber job fair

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - As the local job market heats up, more and more companies are looking for help in filling their open positions.

The Greater Binghamton Chamber saw a big increase in the number of employers participating in its semi-annual job and career fair.

Eighty-four businesses and organizations, up from 60 last year, bought tables in the SUNY Broome Ice Center on Friday.

Chamber President and CEO Jennifer Conway says many employers are still struggling to match the skills of job seekers with their openings.

Conway says that insufficient schooling and training is only part of the problem.

She says businesses also got behind on growing talent from within.

"We did have slow economic growth.  So, in that period, employers are not bringing people in and training them.  And we saw retirees hanging on for a little bit longer so that knowledge was still there.  So, now we're seeing highly skilled people leaving the workforce and we can't put them in the pipeline fast enough to get them that knowledge," said Conway.

Conway says the trades are seeing some success with apprenticeship and mentoring programs although that doesn't work with every industry.

Conway says there was also a lot of foot traffic among job seekers at Friday's fair.

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