August 2016 Feature Story: Urgent Care

An acute care backstop

Dr. Walter Mineart, M.D., owner and physician at North Country Urgent Care opened his practice in 2003. Photo by Amanda Morrison, NNY Business.

Dr. Walter Mineart, M.D., owner and physician at North Country Urgent Care opened his practice in 2003. Photo by Amanda Morrison, NNY Business.

Urgent care facilities ease strains on hospital ERs

By Karee Magee, NNY Business

Although a recent phenomenon in the health care industry, urgent cares have been on a roller coaster journey since the concept began in the 1970s, but after a decline in the ‘80s, they didn’t take hold in the U.S. until about two decades ago. [Read more…]

New imaging equipment gives Canton-Potsdam Hospital a ‘clear view’ of the future

Danielle Parent, an MRI technologist at Canton-Potsdam Hospital, speaks with Violet Tiernan, of Potsdam, following her MRI on Thursday at the hospital. Photo by Jason Hunter, Watertown Daily Times.

Danielle Parent, an MRI technologist at Canton-Potsdam Hospital, speaks with Violet Tiernan, of Potsdam, following her MRI on Thursday at the hospital. Photo by Jason Hunter, Watertown Daily Times.

New medical imaging equipment at Canton-Potsdam Hospital is giving physicians a clearer view of patient care and the future of medicine. [Read more…]

January 2016 Cover Story: Economic Outlook

Slow and steady
growth wins the race

OUTLOOK 2016 / MILITARY: A soldier salutes during the presentation of the colors last year in an activation ceremony for the 10th Mountain Division Divarty. As the post avoided major cuts in 2015, Fort Drum officials remain positive that 2016 will be a healthy year for one of region’s top economic sectors. Photo by Amanda Morrison, NNY Business.

OUTLOOK 2016 / MILITARY: A soldier salutes during the presentation of the colors last year in an activation ceremony for the 10th Mountain Division Divarty. As the post avoided major cuts in 2015, Fort Drum officials remain positive that 2016 will be a healthy year for one of region’s top economic sectors. Photo by Amanda Morrison, NNY Business.

Despite a few challenges, experts say the region is on pace for a positive year in 2016. Six sectors of the north country’s economy are ripe with opportunities for growth.

By Karee Magee, NNY Business

A grim fate cast a pall over the north country in early 2015, as federal budget sequestration threatened to cut up to 16,000 personnel from Fort Drum in an effort by the army to trim its active duty force from 490,000 to 450,000 by fiscal year 2017. [Read more…]

October 2015: Business Briefcase

MANUFACTURING

Plant closure delayed

Nirvana Spring Water now intends to close its plant in November, with no layoffs expected until the middle of next month. [Read more…]

August 2015 Cover Story: Health Care

Partnerships critical to continuum of care

Kammi Hernandez holds her 2-year old son,  Joseph, outside Gouverneur Hospital last month. Photo by Jason Hunter, NNY Business.

Kammi Hernandez holds her 2-year old son,
Joseph, outside Gouverneur Hospital last month. Photo by Jason Hunter, NNY Business.

North country hospitals align with Syracuse facilities to manage major trauma, specialty cases

By Norah Machia, NNY Business [Read more…]

Heavy turnout an encouraging sign to organizers of Jefferson-Lewis Job Fair

 

The bitter cold did not deter job-seekers from the Jefferson-Lewis Job Fair on Tuesday.

“This is, definitely, by far, the busiest I’ve seen,” said Carol L. Urbanowicz, human resources manager for Hi-Lite Markings Inc.

Prospective employees came in droves on a day when the temperature hovered just below zero.

Cheryl A. Mayforth, executive director of the Workplace, 1000 Coffeen St., said organizers were concerned the cold would keep people away from the free event.

“We were ballparking around 500 plus, but I think we’re going to surpass that,” Mrs. Mayforth said.

The job fair originally was scheduled for November but was postponed because of severe weather.

There were 58 employers at the fair, which was held at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1290 Arsenal St., including the Army National Guard, Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 2, Hi-Lite Markings, Jain Irrigation, Samaritan Medical Center and Gouverneur Hospital.

According to Mrs. Mayforth, there were more jobs being offered at the fair this year than in the previous three, a sign that the economy may be improving.

“Things are starting to open up,” she said.

Jefferson County posted a 7.5 percent unemployment rate in November, down from 8.8 percent the year before — a figure organizers of the job fair called encouraging — though some worried about discouraged workers who had given up looking for jobs during the recession.

“They say the unemployment figures are so low, but you see so many people here it makes you wonder who’s not being counted,” said Timothy J. Maloney, one-stop manager for the Workplace.

Mrs. Mayforth said the Workplace offers training programs to help people who have been out of a job for several years begin the process of re-entering the workforce.

“We have had people who come to us and say, ‘I’m lost.’ We’ll show you the way,” Mrs. Mayforth said.

Aside from the robust turnout and concern for discouraged workers, Mrs. Mayforth noted two other trends: the contraction of the workforce as baby-boomers near retirement age and the fact that younger “millennial” workers may not have gained skills in college that match the job market, especially when it comes to the medical field and trades such as plumbing or construction.

Suzan L. McDermott, director of human resources for Gouverneur Hospital, said there can often be a “disconnect” between the kind of education students pursue in college and the kind of education valued by the marketplace.

As an example, she cited a young woman with a bachelor’s degree in biology who came to a recent recruitment event. While the woman had relevant experience, she needed to be certified as a medical technician or technologist, a field that is projected to grow by 22 percent from now to 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To become a medical technician generally requires an associate degree; to become a technologist requires a bachelor’s degree, according to BLS.

Ms. McDermott said the woman was working toward her certification.

Dale R. Stehlin, field representative for Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 2, mentioned “Helmets to Hardhats,” a national nonprofit program that helps military service members transition to careers in the trades as a viable option for those completing their service at nearby Fort Drum.

Gary A. Seery, 64, of Watertown, spent his career in construction and came to the job fair to find work during the years remaining before he can retire.

“It’s very hard because you get to my age, youth is coming in, and they should,” Mr. Seery said. “But you need that last two years to get over that hump to Social Security. So a lot of us here are probably looking for that.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Daniel P. Smith, 24, also of Watertown, was trying to find his first serious job after working in construction and on area farms since graduating from Watertown High School in 2009.

“I’m looking for something with benefits,” he said, his large hands and broad shoulders clear evidence of his experience with manual work.

Mr. Smith said he was especially interested in Hi-Lite Markings, a company that paints airport and parking lot striping around the world.

“Hi-Lite gives everybody a chance,” said, Ms. Urbanowicz, human resources manager for the company.

Crews from Hi-Lite, which is looking to hire eight to 10 people this season, are often out for four to six weeks at a time, Ms. Urbanowicz said.

“For a crew, I look for somebody really determined to work, who can travel,” she said.

 

 

By Daniel Flatley, Times Staff Writer