A perfect match: the underemployed and startups

More than 132,000 people in the Buffalo area are considered to be underemployed, according to a recent study done by the economic development group Invest Buffalo Niagara.

The underemployed tag was given to anyone who is either working part time or feels unfulfilled with his or her current full-time job, accounting for nearly 12 percent of the Western New York population.

With this rather large number of underemployed or unsatisfied workers, many entrepreneurs in the Queen City see an opportunity. Whether it is a brand new startup or a company simply looking to expand, the number of available workers is beginning to be noticed by entrepreneurs and business owners across the area.

For example, Ernie Lynch. Lynch owns and operates Lynch Fluid Controls Inc., which specializes in creating hydraulic and motion control products used by organizations such as NASA, the International Olympic Committee, and the United States Military.

With its expanding headquarters located in Mississauga, Ontario, Lynch recently decided to open a distribution facility in North Tonawanda. The company exceeded its distribution goals at its Western New York branch by 210 percent in the month of June, according to the Invest Buffalo Niagara website, and will be looking to expand its employee base in the near future.

With more and more companies like Lynch’s sprouting up in the Buffalo area each month, there is no better time for an underemployed worker to make the leap and join a fledgling startup company, and for startups to consider workers who may be in the second stage of their careers.

Growing businesses in Western New York are continually searching for employees who are looking to work for a company they feel passionate about. Several websites, including Viaduct, which was created to help “small and emerging businesses post their open jobs and rely on an in-house team of recruiters to find the perfect match for your team,” according to its website, have made the process easier for them.

There are a variety of different job areas on the site including: creative and marketing, information technology and software and web development. The Viaduct job-seeking page is continually updated and can be used as an important resource to the underemployed.

Other initiatives throughout Buffalo include Startup Grind, an organization that hosts monthly speaking engagements to help budding entrepreneurs connect and learn from successful entrepreneurs in the area, as well as Meetup.com, a website with many different areas that include the opportunity for like-minded entrepreneurs to chat online or get together to discuss ideas they are interested in pursuing.

If you are one of the 132,000 people who want a change in your work life, the opportunities in the greater Buffalo area are vast if you are willing to take a deeper look.

Read more articles by Sean Brock.

A native of Western New York, Brock has worked in the field of writing and public relations over the past several years, while also gaining a master’s degree from Canisius College this May. He has worked for several universities and professional sports teams in a public relations capacity during that time, and has always kept a love for writing. In his free time Brock enjoys hiking, history, reading and watching as many baseball and football games as he can.   
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