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Economic Director Advises Job Seekers In Greenburgh

Job seekers listen Thursday in Greenburgh to Laurence Gottlieb's advice on the Westchester County economy and job market. Photo Credit: Samantha Kramer
Laurence Gottlieb, director of the Westchester County Office of Economic Development, addresses job seekers Thursday at the Greenburgh Public Library. Photo Credit: Samantha Kramer
A slide from a presentation Thursday by Westchester Economic Development Director Laurence Gottlieb illustrates the length and depth of unemployment after various recessions. Photo Credit: Samantha Kramer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — If you're unemployed in Greenburgh, health care is the area to look for jobs, according to Laurence Gottlieb, Westchester County's economic development director.

Gottlieb presented his data and advice Thursday morning at the Greenburgh Public Library in an event hosted by the Westchester Jewish Community Services' Women Helping Women and Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner. Gottlieb gave a snapshot of how businesses have developed in Westchester County and what the future holds for the area's job market.

"I want to set for you a realistic picture of what's happening out there," Gottlieb said. "The economy is getting better — but only for those that are seeing where the marketplaces go."

Gottlieb said the market is not the same as it once was for the event's 75 or so attendees, mostly middle-aged and in search of jobs. Job seekers need to read the market better for areas that are actually hiring, or they will just end up "fishing in a dead lake," Gottlieb said.

Health care, education and finance are the major areas hiring in Westchester County. Gottlieb told the attendees not to be worried if their degrees or skills didn't match that — many skills are now being blended. For example, he said, an English major can find a job in the health care field in technical writing.

"You need to refocus the skills that you have into areas that are more viable," he said.

Using data, Gottlieb showed that Westchester County is a good area to look for jobs — but only if one has a college degree. Westchester County's high cost of living is pushing young adults who can't afford its housing out of the county, leaving only successful residents mostly with bachelor's or higher degrees. This can make the competition difficult, he said.

Westchester County's unemployment rate sits at about 7.6 percent, but only 4 percent of the county's college graduates are unemployed, according to Gottlieb's data. It may be difficult for some to return to school, but even just taking a class or an online class to fit a position's description will help boost one's resume, he said.

Susan Lupul of Irvington said she attended the event to gain some input after being unemployed for several months. Lupul said Gottlieb's presentation made sense: The job market is ever-changing, so a person's skill sets should be, too.

"He gave a good overview of the current trends," Lupul said. "I'm trying to blend my skills into a certain list of areas."

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