The educational sector is one of the largest employers in our local economy.
Six colleges, including SUNY Morrisville’s Norwich campus, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Delhi, SUNY Oneonta, Hartwick College and the Utica School of Commerce in Oneonta, employ thousands. Add to that nearly three dozen school districts, with over forty high schools and scores of elementary and middle schools, plus various private and vocational institutions and two BOCES systems and you have a rock solid, all but recession-proof economic infrastructure.
Marie Wiles, District Superintendant at Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES concurs. “We probably have more opportunities than there are people to fill them in this region. We travel quite far out of our region, actually, to hire folks. We have a number of people who commute from outside of the Capitol Region to come down and work for us, particularly in administrative titles. And for teaching positions, we look long distances away to find suitable candidates. There’s a lot of opportunity for people who have the qualifications, are interested in working with students and are ready to work hard.”
But, the educational sector provides employment beyond that of teachers.
“Actually, teachers are only about a third of our staff,” Dr. Wiles continues. “In our administrative offices in Stamford, we have a wide range of management and support services that we provide to schools. For example, we have a shared business officethat is the actual business office for five of our component school districts. They do payroll, accounts payable, grants management… file all of their state aid forms. So it’s a very different kind of role than teaching. We have a health/dental plan [The Catskill Area School Employee Benefit Plan]; we actually run an insurance company.”
“So we have claims processors and staff who work with our members. We provide labor relations services to our school districts, so we have a labor relations specialist on staff. We have a host of clerical positions, from keyboard specialists up to confidential secretaries. We employ lots of maintenance and custodial staff. We are a wide ranging organization, so we really need folks at every level to get the work done in order to support schools.”
Opportunity, both full and part-time, is everywhere.
Cathy Jeanette, Coordinator of Oneonta Adult Education explains, “I run a lot of part-time business because I’m expected to have the tutors in the schools for the kids to have extra hours of ESL (English as a Second Language).”
“And for kids who had a momentary lapse of good judgement, we have to have a place for them to go.”
“We do a lot of part-time hiring, too. And it’s very specific. I try to make the best plan, but sometimes I only need somebody two hours a day. But, that’s right up somebody’s alley.”
“If somebody’s willing to say to me… I’ll do what ever you ask me to do… as far as I’m concerned they’ve got it made.”