What's Happening?

What's Happening?

Helping people stay on the job

When employees run into trouble, John McCarthy is available to help them work through it. 

He can point them toward services that might be of assistance, and advise them on how to function better at work. If they want to vent, he can offer a sympathetic ear. 

“I’m here to help people navigate through the tough things in life,” McCarthy said. 

McCarthy is what’s known as a success coach, and he’s part of a unique collaborative effort, called the Workforce Development Partnership, that helps unemployed workers get back on their feet. 

Supported by a $30,000 grant from The Schenectady Foundation, the enterprise connects local businesses to job-seeking Schenectady residents, with a goal of reducing staff turnover and improving retention. 

The partnership’s key players are Schenectady County Connects, the county’s job training/career center, the City Mission of Schenectady, Schenectady Community Action Program (SCAP), SEAT Center and Pine Ridge Industries, the business division of the Schenectady ARC.  

Since 2014, local businesses have been able to join the Employer Resource Network now maintained by Pine Ridge Industries.

Here's a link to a short video about the network, where employers describe how access to success coaches like McCarthy, who visit their job sites and work directly with employees, put staff in the best position to succeed.  “We empower people,” McCarthy said.  

During the pandemic, Schenectady County Connects began working closely with the Employee Resource Network, matching job seekers with businesses in need of employees. 

One aspect of the Foundation award is subsidizing the cost of joining the ERN, allowing more employers to participate at a time when thousands of Capital Region workers were looking to rejoin the workforce. 

According to Nathan Mandsager, chief operating officer at Pine Ridge Industries, businesses in the Employer Resource Network have a 90 percent retention rate. 

That’s impressive, and it’s one of the things that makes the Workforce Development Partnership a worthwhile investment. 

“It’s about helping the employee - and the employer, too,” McCarthy said. 

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