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There's no place like home

By JOE CENTERS • May 15, 2019 at 1:00 PM

There are great jobs in Norwalk.

The key is finding the right people to fill the right positions. That is the job of the Norwalk Economic Development Corp. and executive director Heather Horowitz.

Horowitz and her staff held an open house Tuesday for investors.

“We welcomed them in to just chat with board members. We have a strategic plan we do every three years so this year was that year,” she said. “We really wanted their input on our priorities and to get their feedback.

“Our main focus is our current businesses — helping them thrive; helping them grow; helping them sustain. Their No. 1 priority right now is their workforce. We are doing a lot of things wrapped around that.

“We don’t own the workforce; it’s a system and so how can we work with that system to provide value for our current companies?”

There are a lack of workers in the area and around the country.

“There are multiple problems and if I think if I had the answer I would be a millionaire,” Horowitz said with a laugh. 

“We are doing a regional workforce study with Erie County. ... Looking at some solutions and some programs. You are looking at the non-participating labor rate. People who are in the workforce. People who are under-skilled that need to be up-skilled."

“We have great jobs here. ... Some great companies. We have to get that awareness in the community.”

Another concern are the college students and getting them to come back home.

“Try to stay connected from the time they leave here,” Horowitz said. “We want them to go. We want them to get experience. We want them to get culture, diversity and education.”

But, Horowitz added, when it comes time to start a family that’s the best time to move home. 

“There might be a lower wage, but a lower cost of living. There is value to come back.”

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