BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Unemployment claims in Western New York are up 2,577% from this time last year.
27,335 people have filed claims in the region, so far, many due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It sounds dismal, but David Lloyd of the Buffalo Employment and Training Center (BETC) says places are still hiring.
As of April 20, the BETC had placed 44 people in new positions since the start of the crisis.
It’s all because of the center going virtual.
Counselors have set up offices at home and clients continue to call for help finding work.
It’s a two-way street since employers are also going directly to the center for help filling work orders.
Services are free to the client, since the employment center is federally funded.
“All they have to do is spend their time.”
Lloyd says CDL drivers and people in the medical field are obviously in high demand right now, but there are other areas where people are being placed — like client Omar Otaibi who we spoke with.
He had enlisted in the Army and was supposed to start basic training last week, but exercises were postponed until November after a few people tested positive for COVID-19, Otaibi tell us.
On top of that, his hours were cut to part-time for the position he had here in Buffalo. So he called BETC for help fining more work.
After getting his resume spruced up, he said he was connected with multiple employers and was placed in a job within a week.
While many in the nation are dealing with losing their jobs, the BETC continues to work against the grain to keep Western New Yorkers working.
If you are interested in seeking a placement call 716-856-5627