SUNBURY – The monthly unemployment numbers are out and Snyder County took a big hit with the Wood-Mode closure and now has the highest jobless rate in the state. The unemployment rate jumped from 3.1% to 6.1% making it the highest in the state.
President and CEO of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, Bob Garrett was on “On The Mark” Friday and he said the writing was on the wall, “We knew this day was coming. We knew that a closing of a major employer like Wood-Mode was going to have an effect on our local economy, on our local job numbers, etc.”
Snyder County ranked as 5th best in the state last month in unemployment rate, and now they have the highest rate. Garrett feels confident that the 6.1% number will come down over the coming months, but he says it brings another issue to light.
“We have to make sure that the skills that people have in the local area match what the skills that are required for the jobs in the local area. You know if you do the same job for several decades and it’s a very specific job, there’s a chance that some of your other skill sets may have gotten a little rusty,” he said.
Garrett says there are programs in place and efforts to make sure training is available, “We talk to Sue (Greene, Chair GSVCC, Director Penn State Executive Programs) every month about the Penn State executive programs, we talk about the community college efforts, we talk about the vocational schools, we talk about all of the different training options that folks have in place.”
To hear more about the jobless numbers, both nationally and locally, check out the On The Mark podcast at WKOK’s podcast page.