Maffei, Sweetland focus on job creation

Candidates Focus on Jobs Candidates Focus on Jobs Maffei, Sweetland focus on job creation
August 13, 2008

Syracuse, New York (WSYR-TV) - With the loss of hundreds of jobs, it's been a difficult couple of weeks for central New York. Congressional candidates Dan Maffei and Dale Sweetland are focusing on job creation in their campaigns, addressing what needs to be done to ease a host of economic hardships.

We followed along as each candidate spoke with business owners about what needs to be done.

JPG Enterprises grew from three employees to 250. They have relationships and contracts with many vendors, including the Department of Defense.

Vice president Steve Starrantino says the company would never close their Liverpool location, even though they are dealing with the same economic woes as everyone else.

JGB president Bob Zywicki says his company has seen double-digit increases in costs from manufacturers - increases that he's never seen before in his nearly 20 years at the company.

The cost of doing business in upstate New York is expensive, but Zywicki says it sometimes gets a bad rap. He says JGB has three other locations in Charlotte, Kansas City and St. Louis, and each one is more expensive to operate than the New York facility.

Congressional candidates Dale Sweetland and Dan Maffei have made jobs the top issue of their campaign.

To Sweetland, it comes down to the energy crisis and high property taxes.

"It has to be dealt with, because it hurts business, it hurts people, and it hurts the business that these companies are doing," Sweetland says. "Business can't absorb [the rising costs] as well as big business can."

Maffei says incentives will stop the bleeding -- businesses can't expand because it's too expensive. He says it's about finding creative solutions.

"A really vibrant community will see that big businesses and universities and colleges are spinning off a lot of little businesses, like retail, manufacturing and boutique firms - that's how an economy really gets going," says Maffei.

Maffei is focusing his campaign on finding ways to get young people to stay or move into the area. Sweetland, meantime, is calling on Congress to address the energy problem, and says that high property taxes are inhibiting economic growth.