Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- This week is an exciting time for students going back to school, but heartbreaking for the almost 2,000 teachers that were laid off from Central New York Schools last year.
One local teacher went through the district's Career Ladder Program, which paid for his masters degree, but he's still one of the many left to find a job in a new business.
"It sort of reinforces raising your hand, so I'd chuck it out to them, then they get the mum dog and then they get to answer," said Brenden Cole, who's searching for work.
This is the second year in a row Cole doesn't have a teaching job for the start of school. He was lucky last year and was rehired at the last minute by the Syracuse City School District, but this year he'll be competing with the nearly 2,000 other teachers in Central New York who were laid off last year.
"The competition is so fierce and that's one of the things you don't want to…you want to think of teachers as this fraternity or sorority of people all working together to educate and help children and students, but at the same time you're in direct competition with them for very few jobs," Cole said.
More than 290 former school employees have attended seminars at CNY Works
in just the past month to learn about employment options.
"I think it's important for teachers to understand that maybe right now they're not going to go back into teaching. They need to look at their transferable skills," explained Denise Elliott, with the New York Department of Labor.
CNY Works hosts seminars every week for teachers to learn networking skills, get resume critiques and match their skill sets with a new job. Skills that former teachers like Cole will be able to use in a different job, but he really wishes he was able to go back to the classroom.
"I'm not at school today. It's terrible, a terrible feeling. It really is," he said.
For teachers that are determined to stay teaching in Central New York, NewsChannel 9 was able to find only a handful of open positions.
Here are a few of the jobs we found: There is a high school teacher position and part-time occupational therapist job in Chittenango and a high school social studies teacher position is open at Jordan-Elbridge. These jobs are for this school year, and are open only because of last minute retirees.
If you’re looking for a job, CNY Works always has job-searching seminars available. And you can always visit labor.ny.gov
to find out more about their career services.