Hire current residents before luring expats

I am writing in response to the recent News article regarding luring back expats. In it, the Citybration Founder states, “Companies are foolish if they don’t find the skill sets they need in the expatriate community.” How can someone claim to love Buffalo, yet have so much disdain for Buffalonians? I say companies are foolish if they can’t find the desired skill sets right here. They can start with the BETC, the ECC One Stops, the WNY Executives Group, the Professionals in Transition Group and the Parachute Group, to name a few. There are many qualified candidates still in the area – those who are currently unemployed and those who are underemployed. Why are we seeking out and rewarding those who gave up on the area, while ignoring those who remained? The expats already proved that they will leave for “greener” ($$$$$$$) pastures. They have no investment in the area and will leave again if a better opportunity presents itself. How can we recruit businesses to locate and bring jobs here when we are telling them we don’t possess a qualified work force?

The article also mentions creating a searchable database to match expatriates’ skills to qualified jobs. Why is this necessary? We already have Monster, Career Builder, WNY Jobs, Indeed and several other websites showing local opportunities. Who is going to fund this proposed database? Can the request for public funds be far behind? Wouldn’t that be the ultimate irony – using taxpayer dollars to lure in expatriates to compete with current residents for jobs?

Let’s use our resources for getting our residents working. There are several organizations in the area that encourage us to promote our local businesses. Let’s take it one step further and hire locally as well. The expats are more than welcome to return, but we shouldn’t have to lure them. Build it and they will come.

Gary M. Nasca