In one industry here in Western New York, employers can't seem to find enough people to fill all their openings.
"There's a real need in the industry for machine operators," Paul Melville explained.
He spent 30 years in the printing industry and now teaches the printing program at McKinley High School. Local companies are constantly reaching out to Melville looking for good workers, he says.
It's a problem Tapecon knows well.
"Machine operator or press operator, in general, I would say is a job description that's always open," Tapecon's president Steve Davis said. "It almost stays on our careers page because there's always a need."
Tapecon is a local printing and manufacturing company. It will celebrate 100 years of operating in Buffalo in 2019 and is seeing strong growth right now. It hopes to attract talent to help maintain that growth through a new adult education program.
Buffalo Public Schools worked with Tapecon to create a 13-week course, run by Melville, at McKinley High School. It started this fall and the first group of students are nearing the end of the class.
"I'm able to train these workers, or potential workers, on the printing industry," Melville said.
This particular course focuses on flexography, a printing method that is a large part of Tapecon's operations and that of other local printing companies.
"I embrace the challenge," Arica Rodriguez said, recognizing one of the core values of Tapecon, her employer for the last three years.
Rodriguez is participating in the class to become more valuable to the company and to help her continue to grow at Tapecon. Three years ago she started as a temporary worker.
"I'm willing to do whatever it is that you're going to teach me," Rodriguez said. "I'm just willing to learn."
"It's difficult to find someone who has the level of expertise required to just jump on a piece of equipment," Davis said.
This course is hoping to expand that pool of qualified candidates, not just for Tapecon, but for other local printing companies as well.
To learn more about career opportunities at Tapecon, click here.
You can learn more about adult education courses through Buffalo Public Schools here.