Recruiting and Retention Task Force
Monday, March 23, 2022 - 11:00 AM
Joe Pete Wilson - Chairman
Chairman Wilson called this task force to order at 11:12 am with the following in attendance: Stephanie DeZalia, Ken Hughes, Steve McNally, Jim Monty, Matt Stanley, Joe Pete Wilson, Mark Wright, Linda Beers, Dan Palmer and Chelsea Merrihew. Jenn Mascarenas, Terri Morse, Mike Mascarenas, Wendy Sayward and Tom Scozzafava had been previously excused.
Also present: Dina Garvey, Jim Dougan, Erica Sadowski and Joe Keegan - NCCC.
News Media present: Tim Rowland - Sun Community News
WILSON: Thank you everybody for being here, anybody need an agenda? I wanted to spend some of this meeting following up on ideas, projects that weíve come up. I donít want things to fall by the wayside. So, housing has been a big recent push here and I want to help Mark connect with Larry Reagan, the developer whoís working in Lake Placid/North Elba. So, Iíll get you the phone number, Iíll get in touch with Mr. Reagan and you can setup a time. This was from our earlier meeting about, he would like to look in Ti and see if you guys can identify some potential sites. So, weíll, Dan would you be able to give Mark, Larry Reaganís contact info? Do you have that?
PALMER: I do.
WILSON: Okay, if you could do that, that would be great.
At our last meeting we talked about having the Recruitment and Retention enforce the effort by the Land Bank Project and Ken and Jim are both here from that group. Is there anything specific we can do to help to support that effort? You know, make an official recommendation by our committee? Is there anything that we can do to help that keep momentum for that Land Bank Project?
MONTY: Nah, I canít think of anything, Ken, can you? I mean just the support is tremendous. You know weíre really working toward fully understanding what we actually want to accomplish, but keep it on our agenda and anything that we have new to share, weíll be glad to share, because we have a meeting, actually next Monday, after the Ways and Means. I would encourage anyone to join the ADK Action meetings that theyíve been doing on land banks, I can send the link out, because she just sent it this morning, because they had to change the date.
WILSON: Jim if you could forward that out.
MONTY: Iíll send it to the Board.
WILSON: Yeah, if you could.
MONTY: And it would benefit anyone on the Board to sit through and listen to it. Thatís basically all I have, is potential housing project in Ti, I would also encourage to reach out to Mental Health to Terri, because thereís a component there for rehabilitation, both mental health, as well as substance abuse and thereís money available in those projects, which would could go forward in helping Mark in anything that he wants to do in Ti and we do have the components necessary. They have a hospital available, they have municipal transportation, they have supermarket, so a lot of the things thatís necessary for this project exist in Ti. So, I think that would be a very good connection, as well.
WILSON: Thank you and then we talked about market analysis study that, two on the way, one by the Lake Champlain Regional Planning Board and thatís going to be multi county and then Community Resources has a small grant to do a local piece of that and Iím hopeful that weíve got some information that will help us with the town wide effort around land bank, but then I think there would be information for individual towns as they peruse projects that would help write grants, help identify properties and write grants to support those developments. So, as I learn more Iíll continue to share. Before we move on, any other housing ideas?
BEERS: Not housing, but it would certainly, I guess itís kind of housing. St. Joeís did move forward and tried to purchase a building on Racetrack Road to house 27 women with substance use, pregnant or have babies under 3 years old and it was an unbelievably, really thought out, wonderful project, thought it was a great space for it. There was a variance issue, myself and Terri and St. Joeís came and we presented at night at the Board in Ti and I get that it didnít make the variance issue and was shot down, but there was a lot of other factors that were brought up in there and St. Joeís, didnít and I will say that to St. Joeís, could have done a better job in being good stewards of their initial housing in Ti, which made it very antagonistic towards anymore projects, to be fair. So, I think we need to pave the way and Jim you had brought up and weíre talking about housing or whatever and working with Terri and potential money for substance abuse disorder or mental health problems, I think we need to make really sure that everybody supports that and you donít get into that, not in backyard kind of stuff, because I heard that, really clearly, that itís not going to be in my backyard and those people donít live in Ticonderoga and you know, it should be held in a bigger city like Plattsburgh and things like that and it was many, many people came out and spoke and again, I understand that whole process and I absolutely respect everybodyís right for saying that and I understand that there were lots of issues behind why they said that, because of previous experiences, but I think we need to pave the way for our communities if weíre going to invest that, because it didnít sound like the community was, you know, itís always a small component of people, but I just think before we, if youíre going to move forward on any of these things you make sure that you have your community support in doing it, otherwise weíre going to get to where we think weíre going to move forward and then thereís concern of our citizens and our communities that they wonít want that type of establishment in their backyard. Does that make sense?
MONTY: Yeah, the sad part about that whole thing and I donít disagree with you at all, Linda, is number one, it is in your backyard, already. Itís in your backyard and this is to help that situation. Unfortunately, the vocal minority over rank the silent majority and I, you know, Iíve had public hearing where you get a handful of people that are totally against something and even though you know the majority of people within your community arenít against, but theyíre not there to voice their opinion publicly and I totally agree with what youíre saying, weíve got to be onboard.
BEERS: I just know that it wonít, you just need to be ready to have some opposition, that is all I am suggesting. If youíre going to, when youíre talking about housing, which I am 100% in for, that we talk about housing inclusively for everybody and that everybody would have a place at the table.
MONTY: It has been my experience that thereís opposition in just about anything you want to do.
BEERS: I know nothing of opposition.
WILSON: Your point is a good one though, that some of this stuff that weíre doing here is cutting across a lot of lines, itís a new way of thinking about a lot of these issues, especially, you know around workforce development, around housing and I think we do need a diverse mix of housing. Itís going to be different solutions for different aspects of this and Iím hoping that the studies that are being done by the Regional Planning Board and locally can help towns do community based master planning that helps really bring together projects that will be successful. That if itís, weíre trying to force an agenda, youíre right, itís going to be hard, but if weíre setting the table so that communities can do planning and identify projects that are going to work and fit in their community and I think they took a couple of years to lead up to the project they did in Lake Placid, theyíre doing now in Lake Placid and I think weíve got to expect that solutions are going to take that kind of planning, like Mark starting out with Larry Reagan, you know looking at the conditions and then really taking the data and see whatís needed, what are the resources there and what fits, because itís going to be hard to find homes for some of the types of housing and projects we need to do.
BEERS: Yeah, I say, as a very wise man told me when I took this job, always bring it up, keep talking about it, by the time youíre ready to write a resolution, the Board will be like, didnít do that already? AKA, Dan Palmer. A lesson I learned.
WILSON: Any other housing things?
At our last meeting or two meetings ago, we talked about job fair with Ken and I think Jim stepped up on that and judging by the traffic of emailing, maybe you have some updates you should share with us and see if thereís anything we can do to support that effort.
HUGHES: Yeah, so the process has moved around really well. Iíve created a shared collaboration document on google docs. Holly Aquino from DPW has really stepped up in a big way. Sheís a former corporate event planner. Tracy Briggs from DSS has also stepped up in very great ways. So, we, as well as Stephanie talking about Schroon Lake and opportunities down there and trying to make sure that weíre not competing with anybody, but also creating an event that is serving our county needs, as well as community needs.
I have been in touch with Derek Payne, he is the guidance counselor for Boquet Valley Central School, weíre playing phone tag right now, because it was shared with me that they may be trying to do a job fair and he left me a voicemail telling me that he really would like to do one, but heís really behind and so I am going to take the opportunity to set in and work with him and have the County collaborate to get something done for this spring. I was a little hesitant about trying to get something done for May, just because of the short time, but I think if we work outside of these meetings, we have a couple individuals who really want to push through, I think we can get something on that calendar for May and then I also would like to consider, maybe doing a follow-up in October, as well.
MONTY: Would you like me to reach out to Derek, because Iím in the school every day?
HUGHES: Yeah, sure, I left me a voicemail and told him I was going to be in Etown today, if he wanted to meet, but that would be very helpful. Weíre ready to go and I just need a building use form. I talked to Karen Keech and discussed.
MONTY: I can advocate a building use form.
HUGHES: Thatís perfect.
MONTY: I will try and locate Derek today.
HUGHES: Yeah, I would say, maybe shooting for some time mid to late May. That gives us time and then I can bring to work with Holly and the rest of the committee and Tracy to just start making calls and getting things organized and Stephanie, any follow-up from the Schroon Lake Central School conversation?
DEZALIA: Well, theyíre hosting one already. So, if you want any of our participants to be a part of it then we need to contact them, once we have people that we know that are going to participate. I am sure the County could go down to it.
BEERS: So, I will say this, so I offer this, every Tuesday I have a superintendent meeting by Zoom, every superintendent of every school district, I absolutely offer that we give whoever the spokesman is about what youíre talking about, I am sorry, job fair, is that what weíre talking about?
BEERS: Youíre welcome to join in on our Zoom and talk to every school in Essex County and tell them, but you have to sell them something, what is it that you have? So, I have been solicited by Schroon Lake, many department heads have already been asked to go, so thatís what I mean, people are reaching out to us individually, Terri and I live in Schroon Lake, but I sent that email, immediately to Jen Mascarenas and I said, Jen, why donít you go and represent? And I donít mean that it should just fall on Personnel. But, we did this years ago with Monica Feeley. Monica Feeley came up with and probably still have it, a presentation about all the departments that are in Essex County, the variety of jobs, but what she really did was she talked about how many required education, because they donít all and thereís a pathway for almost every kid out of school,† if theyíre interested in it and she did the presentation and I think she went to like 2 or 3 school districts and did the pitch about why you should apply to Essex County municipality, because we have all these jobs, across all domains and she went from, to talk to, you know the kids that we have lawn maintenance and this and DPW and you donít have to have a degree and weíre looking for people now and I think it was really successful. It was many years ago, but I think if you want to go to the schools and talk about a job fair, we should have what weíre going to do at the job fair. So, we went to job fairs to solicit stuff and we did the same canned procedure, you know to say what weíre doing. We had a presentation and so I think maybe if we know across the spectrum of all the jobs in Essex County that is what we should be talking to students about. These are all the jobs in Essex County, because if I went, I wasnít going to just talk about Public Health. I was going to bring up, thereís all these jobs at a county municipality. I think we did that years ago and I think thereís a good way to get everybody represented, instead of just sending department heads and saying you should work for me, which I am happy to do, just so you know.
SADOWSKI: I agree thereís a lot of, you know, high school seniors that maybe theyíre not college bound. They donít have, they have no idea, they have no idea that you can get a good job, full-time job, benefits starting out and I feel like thatís where youíre going to get most of it, not so much, you know, and I feel like getting that out to them and let them know that, hey, they just donít know. They really donít know.
HUGHES: I believe the vision that what we were looking to put together and please correct me, if Iím wrong, is to invite or encourage or expect each department to have their own table.
PALMER: Absolutely, thatís what we talked about.
HUGHES: Have their own individual table, so that would be 20 different tables, at least for the County. You or your representatives could speak directly to what Public Health does, what the opportunities are, what are the pathways to a career in Public Health. What the pathway might be in Personnel, DPW, what are the responsibilities, if you want to be a heavy equipment operator, if you want to be a diesel mechanic, you know here is where you need to go and do and here are the jobs that are currently open, here are the jobs that could be. Things like that where a high school senior or junior or an adult, honestly this is not geared to just students, this is geared to adults, as well.
HUGHES: Where they can go speak directly about a topic that was or a department that was a specific answer to them.
BEERS: I mean Iíve done both. Iíve also, Iíve never done one once where people ask me about what other jobs are there and I donít know if youíre going to get all of us. Theyíre usually at night or theyíre on weekends or whatever. I just throw out thereís lots of ways to skin that cat.
HUGHES: Yeah, I think my vision was, based on my past experience was to have each table represented by an individual department, plus other community organizations, Stewartís for example, NYSEG for example, ACAP for example, yadda, yadda, yadda, to fill that gymnasium with individual businesses and departments.
MONTY: And nobody knows their department better than the department head. People might think they know everyoneís department but not. One thing Iíd like to recommend is the fact that we donít downplay DPW for not needing a degree, because Jim has created atmosphere down there promoting the engineering side of it, promoting these things. Where heís bringing in good people to his team, which is helping in his success. So, there are educational opportunities there, as well.
DOUGAN: And thereís some opportunity even for people that donít have a degree to maybe even become a project or an assist civil engineer after a certain amount of experience.
WILSON: So, weíre getting into our next agenda item, are you all set with job fair?
STANLEY: Do we go to other job fairs instead of just creating our own? Do we go as the County?
HUGHES: Thatís a good question.
STANLEY: You know, like ones that are already established, like in Plattsburgh or anything like that?
PALMER: Personnel used to.
DOUGAN: Personnel does.
SADOWSKI: To Plattsburgh State.
PALMER: We have since the Covid thing, you know, but prior to that, Personnel was showing up to these job fairs.
KEEGAN: I do have a follow-up to the job fair, if there was a role for the college to be able to be there, particularly for those with higher pathways would be of value, nursing for example, weíre happy to be. Weíre not trying to divert students from moving into DPW, but if we could be helpful to those students what weíre lead to pathway.
HUGHES: I donít feel that itís this committeeís responsibility to reach out to what is or is not going to be successful at the job fair, I feel itís this committeeís responsibility to set something up and let the people come and let them figure out what they want to do.
HUGHES: Once they get them. I want to make this organic and as open as possible for everybody to find some level of success there and make it a really fun event.
KEEGAN: Then count us in.
HUGHES: Absolutely, yeah, absolutely.
DEZALIA: A follow-up on what you were saying about who was going to be there. Are we also putting it out to Essex County businesses and stuff, like if you want to come and have a table, because you had 10 openings, weíre allowing that, too?
DEZALIA: Anybody in Essex County can set up?
HUGHES: Yeah, for example, Stewartís. Iím going to call Stewartís and say, you want to setup a table, because we wonít fill up the room with 20 tables for Essex County. We want to let people know that, hey, Essex County is a package; right? So, thereís a lot of businesses and opportunities available and weíre working in concert with those private businesses and you want to advertise, we want Clinton County to come down here, we want Warren, because weíll advertise in those other counties to come to Essex, because otherwise weíre just preaching to our own choir.
DOUGAN: I did want to say that Supervisor Wood from the Town of Schroon had reached out to me on Monday about the career fair, which is on May 4th at Schroon Lake Central and Steve Gratto has reached out to me for us to setup some kind of table there. I would love to coordinate that with you or with others, so that weíre, you know, I donít know how much space they have, but so, that weíre a bit of a coordinated effort there.
BEERS: Steve Gratto, equally reached out to like all kinds of local people, carpenters, folks in our town that are coming.
HUGHES: Thatís exactly what I was doing.
BEERS: Yeah, thatís what itís very much what heís reaching out to.
HUGHES: I think that modelís what weíre looking at right here, absolutely.
MONTY: The one the Ken did when I was working for the Governorís Office, the one that you had here was, we had tables setup everywhere.
HUGHES: We did bring ambulance squads in, you know talking about volunteering for the ambulances. Everything is on the table.
BEERS: Right, I would just say that Schroon Lake is really doing this for their graduating class of í22. I donít believe Schroon Lake is soliciting people from outside and everywhere else about, you know, a job fair inviting others in. Thatís my understanding from my email.
BEERS: So, I donít know what Steveís vision is for this.
DEZALIA: This is more of a career fair for the seniors to know.
BEERS: The Countyís going to put on a job fairÖ
BEERS: I didnít understand that, so that we would certainly put, man a table and whatever, yeah, I was talking about if you have a school in Essex County and are asked to come to talk to the seniors, thatís what we had envisioned a long time ago.
BEERS: But, every school in Essex County before the seniors graduates that they have an opportunity to sit down with that graduation class and say these are the jobs in our County, are you even aware of it?
WILSON: So, can I jump to our next item, because weíre really talking about workforce development now and not a job fair and weíre talking career pathways and partnering to feed into that and one of the conversations I had, recently was with Donna Wooten of the Ti Alliance and theyíre working on childcare in their community. Theyíre working on workforce development with high school students and paid internships and, but what they need is sites for that. They need to tie those students to jobs, as they get older and so what I would like to see is that we start identifying what are the career pathways, as Jim was saying that Jim is doing. You know, you can start here and work your way up and thereís more to a career than you know always operating a shovel and that we partner with the college, with like what Ti Alliance is doing, with you internally with the departments and really have clear pathways so that when they do have a job fair, you know you can show somebody with your skills, hereís how you can work your way up and stay with Essex County and get, further† your education through North Country Community, so you can, youíll increase your, the challenge of your job and what youíre paid and you know weíre keeping you here, because weíre providing a lifetime career thatís challenging and I thought of inviting Donna to talk to us about some of the projects theyíre doing, because it really does mesh with what weíre trying to do in efforts that are underway in a lot of departments and it might help us clarify some actions we could do to tie the college, the County, the Ti high schools with that, but look at the model. So, if itís okay, do we want to invite Donna to the first meeting sheís available to come to, to talk about what theyíre doing and then how we can integrate with their efforts and capitalize on work theyíre doing, so we donít have to do it ourselves? You know, if somebody, if there are problems recruiting and supporting students towards career we should be taking advantage of that, but I think it also then itís going to be on us to within departments and between departments, how we identify career paths where we can bring someone in at the beginning of their career, promote them to the middle and have them, you know, graduating to leadership roles, but staying here and taking those skills here at Essex County. I think that thatís going to be an important strategy for us and thatís what weíve been talking about for like the past ten minutes, even though around job fair, what weíre really talking about is identifying, recruiting, retaining a good, skilled workforce. I donít know if anybody has any more thoughts about this, but I am going to start by inviting Donna.† Please, go ahead, Jim.
DOUGAN: Can I ask a question of Joe? In any of your programs do you require an internship for their graduation?
KEEGAN: Yeah, there are a number of, Human Services has compulsory, so does our Alcohol and Drug Studies program, our Human Services program, our Child and Family Services have a compulsory 3 credits of internship.
DOUGAN: Because, for example, I have an engineering intern position and the gentleman that we have here right now is going to Clarkson and they require a certain amount of internship and so Iím getting cheap labor for the summer, but then letting this potential, future engineer see a little bit about what heís making his choices, where heís going to go with his career. You know, when you go to college a lot of what you get is theory, you donít get practical hands on experience. A guidance counselorís told you that youíre good in math and science, so you should be an engineer, at least thatís what they said to me, and so some of it might be, Hugh Harwood who we talked about last time. He was an intern at the Clerkís Office and then he became an intern with me later on and I think many people, say, realize heís a bit of success story. We were showing a local some jobs that could be available here, so I think coordination with your programs, because a lot of your programs would probably Linda and some of the other Social Services, if some of those internship things can be done. For me, again, I have some inexpensive labor, Iím not paying them all very expensive benefits, yet theyíre getting a taste of what we have and if I can keep a few more people like Hugh Harwood staying here, then thatís a huge success for us.
BEERS: On that note, the Board approved me to have interns and we hired a girl named Emily Jester, she was in her last year of college and she came here for an internship during her break and she earned her undergrad in Public Health and she announced that she is going to go for her nursing career, sheís going to get her masters and weíve worked with Plattsburgh and we have scholarship money, because thereís a scholarship for people, so she can stay here and get a scholarship and get her masters in nursing, which we desperately need it, one year, because she has an undergrad, she has a Bachelorís of Science, now and we would have not have gotten her, ever, if she hadnít come here, because we had an internship. So, that is absolutely valuable and for our department thereís all kinds of scholarships coming out now that nurses can get paid and we have something that I did, Public Health Leaders of Tomorrow, I got my masters completely through New York State and anybody with an undergrad can get that, understanding that you need your undergrad to get it. So, I 100% agree if we can get people in the door.
DOUGAN: So, you know a little bit more coordination with you, Joe, even if itís from my department, you know, may show people some opportunity here that they donít realize.
KEEGAN: Yeah, absolutely.
MONTY: I would like to just quickly go back to the career path that you were talking, when weíre talking about targeting seniors in high schools, no, we should be targeting 9, 10, 11, because by the time a kid is a senior, I speak for my own two teenagers, by the time theyíre in 9th grade they have a pretty good idea what they wanted, granted it could change, they could change their minds, but by the time theyíre a senior I would estimate 75% of those kids know whether theyíre going to go to college, what they want to study, whether they donít think they canít succeed in college, so they want to join the workforce. Iím not saying leave them out, but we should be targeting these younger kids. If you know you get them interested in something, what are you interested in? Like when Ken did his, again, I go back to that, that was probably, Iíve done, when I was working my prior job, I bet you I did a 100 of them in 6 years throughout the State of New York, none of them were better than Kenís. Ken coordinated with these classes that come down, they had question lists that each class had to ask, pointed them in the direction, it was just, it was absolutely phenomenal. The key was, Ken was targeting 9, 10 and 11, because by the time they were 12 they have it, granted it could change, but 9, 10 and 11 they donít really know what they want to do.
WILSON: And Ti Alliance is doing exactly that, so I think hearing Donna will be really enlightening and help us. So, itís good to hear this understanding and acceptance of the way this will work for us and benefit and weíre going to invest in it and it goes back to our idea, weíve talked in the couple meetings, about having department heads take on more of a recruitment role, which is not currently something thatís part of their job description, so thatís something that weíre going to have to figure out how to give them time and support to do, but weíre building the tools that will help. Any other thoughts on this piece?
So, our next agenda item, the marketing piece. I met with Jen last week, Jen Mascarenas, last week to talk about this and unfortunately she couldnít be here today, so I might move the bulk of this to our next meeting to follow-up on the conversation we had. But, I think the stuff that weíve been talking about so far is really external, it is what are doing, what are we doing to change how we interact with the outside and one of the changes that Jen and I talked about was having a marketing strategy that is beyond just, hereís the jobs at Essex County. How do we market all these other things were working on? The housing, the childcare, the region we live in and reach out beyond our borders, too, because we do have an attractive place to live and as weíre identifying the housing, the childcare issues and addressing those, you know how do we push out beyond the boundaries in trying to attract new residents here? So, Jen and I talked a bit about this is and maybe what I would ask from members of the committee is to really think about this you know how do we invest in developing a marketing strategy? What would it look like? What would the tools be that we would need to do that? And what would be the challenges that we would really plan for and trying to bring people here to Essex County as a designation to live, and work here. You know, we do have a lot, looking at the job openings there are a lot of attractive professional jobs and how do we get that.
STANLEY: Well, I think thereís a lot of things that we need to look at and itís not just what to do we have to offer as job, but itís how do we get people we can actually live and survive and itís okay to stay here? Like with my kids at their age, itís opportunities thatís not in Essex County, opportunity lays somewhere out beyond, where I mean weíre looking at rising costs with schools and school tax and weíre looking at the raising costs of trying to keep, in our own municipalities, trying to keep our workforce, so they are actually living above poverty. I mean, I know in the Town of Jay, weíre struggling to try and get staff in our highway department and what we could afford to hire somebody at 3-4 years ago, which I think some people on my Board are like thatís fine to live on, well, itís not. When you can only buy 3 gallons of gas with an hourís worth of pay, weíre struggling to try to keep people here. Now, we do have a lot of careers that a lot of people donít know about. My daughter wants to be a doctor, so I mean health care and just sitting here thinking, thereís 3 hospitals in Essex County, but I donít know if a lot of kids think about, yeah, you may need to get an education or a lot of these things can be done here at North Country, letís try and get and say that, itís okay to go out and maybe an education, but these are the things that you can come back and gain and be able to live, but I think, not only is there, how we get people to stay and work here, now do we as the government try to make it so that we can actually, these people can afford to live there and I think thatís a big piece of the puzzle, too. Thereís a lot of jobs, but if you canít afford to work at those jobs and live here.
Hughes: Yeah, great points. I wanted to just float the idea of, you know what weíre marketing is a career. I mean thatís a job, I mean there are masters degrees in marketing. So, my question is, should the County as an organization have a marketing person? We have one for DPW, the for fairgrounds, Holly. Can Holly and her ability be used to extend, not just marketing the fairgrounds, but marketing the County, as an organization? I mean, I donít know if anybodyís got a marketing degree at this table here, but I really feel like we might need to use that expertise and knowledge, if weíre going to talk about marketing our County, really delve into that kind of topic, I donít know if other counties do it, but certainly it seems like what weíre talking about.
MONTY: I think weíve kind of tapped on it a little bit, Ken, with ROOST. ROOST has been doing a pretty good job of trying to market our abilities.
HUGHES: But, I mean someone whoís specifically thinking about Essex County.
PALMER: I think youíre right.
HUGHES: They market our region.
MONTY: But, theyíve been putting out the job opportunities, theyíve been doing a little more of that.
HUGHES: Thatís fair
WILSON: I think what youíre talking about right now is the kind of strategy that weíve got to develop. We need a strategy to decide where we need to put our resources. Is it behind a person? Is it behind an agency that we contract with? Is it behind grassroots, you know paying department heads to marketer, you know paying them more?† Weíve got to decide, thatís what our strategy has to decide, that is what our strategy has to decide, how are we going to, you know, itís one thing to talk about it, but weíve got to have people that can follow through on it and ask department heads, oh youíre going to take on now recruitment and marketing and weíre not going offer the support for it, itís put department heads in an impossible position.
HUGHES: And it also makes it difficult.
MCNALLY: Well, we discussed this and I brought this up before, weíre talking about marketing, marketing, we have best marketing people working at the County now. We touched on this referral, bonus program that probably could get paid through ARPA funds that are best promoters are the people that actually work here and weíre looking at ROOST and weíre looking at outside marketing companies when we have the employees that can do this for us and possibly with a little bit of stimulus for them or bonus, you know, possibly this would work. We talked about this before and it hasnít came up recently, but I think weíre missing the boat on that. I have another meeting in Warrensburgh, but I just wanted to have one more, I was on my way up here today, listening to NRP and they had a firm, this problem with retention and recruitment is not just an issue in Essex County, itís the whole northeast and possibly the whole Country and with the baby boomers retiring and a lot of variables, so anyways, they were talking and three factors, this company and you know the big question is, you need to find out why the employees are working here? You know why are they working here and why do they want to work at the County? And then they said, some jobs are rewarding and some are not, possibly adding variety to their job, you know a job is not a get job at the County, but maybe a little variety, put them on a committee doing something completely different from their job, periodically, will keep their interest. But, the big thing and I talked to Dan about this in contract, thereís a lot of protection from mandatory exit interviews, but they said that a lot of the companies are being very successful with exit interviews, because not on the negativity side, but to refresh the parts of the job that the people actually liked when they were here and possibly creating a boomerang effect that those employees could possibly come back to work at the County. So, we had that happen in the IT Department. We lost an employee, he liked the job, but he saw opportunity elsewhere, but that was a boomerang, he came back. So, if refresh these people why they were here for 10 start to with, possibly we could get some employees back through that source. Thatís all I have, I think weíre missing the boat if we donít do the referral program and we get our best salespeople, that are the County employees out there and try to recruit people and I think weíre missing out. Itís being done everywhere.
HUGHES: I donít disagree, I think thatís one part of a larger marketing plan. Thatís one piece of the pie.
MCNALLY: This is something that we can control and we can do this immediately.
HUGHES: Sure, we could.
BEERS: So, Mountain Lake Services has done that for years, theyíve been extremely successful and no one speaks of their job, better than the people that work there and no one ever believes it more than working for a place that somebody in your family or somebody talks you into it. I didnít know anybody who worked for the County or I would have been here earlier, to be truthful. I didnít and I came here through Early Intervention, because I worked in Early Intervention and I met somebody and I think thatís an amazing thing, but I would go back to, only through accreditation did I really know, but weíre really lacking is a strategic plan, amongst ourselves, which would define all of that and there are people that facilitate strategic planning and in two session we might be able to get ourselves a real strategic plan that would point everybody in all these directions to create this marketing plan. Just my two cents, but I thought that was an excellent idea.
DELORIA: You spoke a lot about recruitment today and college students and high school students and such. At NYSAC I went to a workshop, The Great Resignation, itís real, itís real everywhere and people are reevaluating their values and what they want their life to look like and itís not going to a 9:00-5:00 every day, Monday through Friday, theyíre looking for things and ways to be creative with their time. So, we all need to be thinking of ways to offer that to people and I know weíre kind of stuck it what we can do, somewhat, but I think we need to creative with some of our positions and I can everybodyís going to have to do that.
WILSON: To try and keep things moving, because I know Danís got another meeting, Jimís got another meeting, any final thoughts? Iím going to move that marketing, though, to where we have more time and give people a chance to think about it a little bit more. Otherwise, thank you, everybody for being here. This is helpful, this, as Stephanieís saying, this is not an issue thatís going away, itís not an issue that going to break like an ice jam, itís going to get more challenging, so weíre either going to have to face it or suffer the consequences of not having enough people to do the work. So, with that cheery thought, we stand adjourned.
AS THERE WAS NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THIS RETENTION AND RECRUITING TASK FORCE, IT WAS ADJOURNED AT 12:01 PM.
Dina L. Garvey, Deputy
Clerk of the Board