PLATTSBURGH — Mass-transit equipment manufacturing has become a major core of the region’s economy, local officials say.
The industry was represented by three of the 33 employers at the North Country Chamber of Commerce Job Fair this week.
“It’s a sector that collects in clusters, as we have seen happen since Bombardier first came to Plattsburgh,” North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said in an email response to the Press-Republican.
“And it’s a sector with a real future, evidenced recently by the launch of Bombardier’s major expansion.
“We remain convinced that it is also the building block that will eventually bring aerospace activity here, as well.”
TWO LARGE JOBS
About 50 people stopped by the Bombardier table, staffed by Chris Delaplane and Janet Ashline, both human-resource advisers at the Plattsburgh manufacturer. They were accepting applications for positions such as production planning; manufacturing engineer; health, safety and environmental adviser; and managers for procurement, production and quality-assurance.
“A lot of this is in preparation for the contracts we have upcoming,” Delaplane said.
The company has landed two large jobs this year: a 300-railcar contract with the Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York City and 410 railcars with options on an additional 365 for Bay Area Rapid Transit in San Francisco.
The company is seeking approval from the City of Plattsburgh Planning Board for a $25 million expansion of the plant.
Ashline said the job fairs are important to their company and complimented the chamber on the events. Delaplane said they are especially vital for recruiting for specialized positions, such as for the engineering department.
Bombardier has about 410 employees in Plattsburgh.
Brad Parent, an internal trainer at Nova Bus, said the company was looking for an industrial engineer. He said most of the its specialized positions are hired through the Volvo Group website.
“Things are going well today,” he said at the Job Fair. “We’ve had a lot of people stop by. We’ve seen some familiar people and some new faces.”
Assemblers are hired through staffing agencies such as Westaff and ETS.
Human Resources Business Partner Tracy Fasking said the plant has about 210 full-time employees, augmented by a number of temporary workers.
Axion Technologies, with 22 employees in Plattsburgh, is one of the many companies that supplies components to Bombardier and Nova Bus. The firm makes display and communication systems for the mass-transit industry.
Michelle Boucher said they were seeking assemblers and customer-support technicians. They were also taking applications to have on file for future openings.
She reported a good turnout at their table.
“We’ve been quite busy.”
The company benefits when its clients land large contracts, such as those recently awarded to Bombardier, as that work filters down to them.
The chamber hosts two Job Fairs each year, in May and September. Chamber Administrative Assistant Becky Manor said just under 300 people had attended the two-hour event Wednesday at the Westside Ballroom.
“It was a good show,” she said.
Email Dan Heath email@example.com