Nano Utica job fair draws thousands

By Joleen Ferris

(WKTV) - Substitute teacher Natalie Williams came to the Nano Utica Job Fair looking for something more permanent. She also wanted to see what all the buzz was about, after hearing people say nanotechnology would transform the Utica area into the Silicon Valley of New York.

Williams came up with an interesting analogy of her own.

"I haven't personally been on a speed date but in my mind it seems kind of like that," said Williams.

"I'm a teacher. A biology teacher, chemistry teacher ... and I don't know if you've noticed but there aren't too many jobs in that field. With that skill set, I can go in a lot of different directions ... so I'm looking to see what the options are."

Not everyone at the Nano Utica Job Fair had a background or skills in science or engineering. 

"I'm looking for a security position ... security guard, security supervisor. It's what I have the most experience in, so..." said job seeker Clarence Chester.

Chester illustrates something Nano Utica officials say it's important to convey: They need professionals from all disciplines to make Quad C-the Computer Chip Commercialization Center at SUNYIT a success. 

Local elected leaders were thrilled at the overwhelming response to the job fair.

"The big question isn't 'do you have a building?' Everybody has buildings, everybody has land. Can you fill it and will people come?  People are here. It's a great thing," said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr.

Roughly 1,500-2,000 people registered for the job fair, which aimed to fill 300 jobs -- the "first wave" of hiring at Quad C, which will employ 1,500 people by the end of the year.

Because of the strong response, there will be a second Nano Utica Job Fair, in the next four to six weeks.


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