February 04, 2013
Nanotech job hunters flood fair
By: Kristen V. Brown
Source: Times Union
ALBANY — After applying for more than 200 jobs, interviewing for 15
and receiving exactly zero job offers, Matthew Tatum hopes he may have
finally landed a gig.
Tatum was among the 800 job hunters who
flocked to University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and
Engineering on Saturday for a high-tech job fair.
officials were hoping to fill 300 positions — a number so high it read
like a typo to some unemployed in a grim economic climate.
just not too many jobs out there," said Tatum, 31, an Albany resident.
Tatum lost his job nine months ago when the Central Avenue shoe store
where he worked closed its doors. Since then, he said looking for work
to support his 11-month-old daughter has become a full-time occupation —
living off the $110 per week he receives in unemployment in the
He interviewed for two positions at Saturday's job fair, an IT position, and maintenance work.
"I'm still hopeful," he said.
NanoCollege job openings are driven in large part by program and
facility expansions, including the Global 450mm Consortium, or G450C,
part of a $4.8 billion research endeavor by five of the world's largest
computer chip companies that will take place at the school's nearly
complete NanoFab Xtension.
Many of the open positions at
Saturday's fair were for the well-paid technician and engineering jobs
that are the backbone of a rapidly expanding industry in the Capital
Just as many though, were for those jobs like Tatum
applied for – those that play crucial supporting roles as CNSE expands,
such as jobs cleaning the state-of-the-art "clean rooms" where silicon
wafers are processed into chips.
With over 3,000 employees and
a plan to add at least 1,000 more by the year 2015, the NanoCollege has
become one of the most robust hirers in the region. The school's hiring
picture seems to buck regional employment trends that are otherwise
dour – December's unemployment rate of 7.4 percent for the region was an
all-time high for that month, with 32,600 people reportedly jobless and
actively looking for work.
Last week, Sematech, the computer chip
consortium based on the campus, announced it would lay off 20 members
of its support staff, though the NanoCollege said all staff members
would be offered other opportunities on campus.
"The reality is that every day there are more opportunities and growth here," said Steve Janack, NanoCollege spokesperson.
for the jobs being offered range between $35,000 and $100,000. The 800
people who pre-registered for the fair put the event at capacity, so
Janack said another fair will be scheduled soon.
So many responded
to the school's November job fair, when about 60 people were hired,
that the governor's office and state Department of Labor worked with the
school to host Saturday's event.
"We have a tremendous amount of
talent in New York state," said Leo Rosales, spokesperson for the labor
department. "There are skilled, ready to work New Yorkers with a variety
of backgrounds and educations. We want to give them the opportunity."
Brandon Stanfield, 29, attended the fair in search of more lucrative career opportunities.
currently is employed as a project engineer for the state Office of
General Services, where he makes about $60,000 a year. He hoped the job
fair might net him an engineering job earning more in the range of
$80,000 to $90,000.
"This place seems like a place for advancement," he said. "For opportunity."
Tatum, for one, said he had a good feeling about at least one of his interviews.
"I'm willing to work and I need a job," he said. "I just can't give up."