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JOB BANK MAY BRING WORKERS, OPPORTUNITIES TOGETHER

It's hard to attract workers with technology skills to jobs in Western New York, employers lament.

But tech workers and graduates complain that the region lacks job opportunities found in other parts of the country.

Sense a disconnect?

A group of regional technology companies has launched a job bank on the World Wide Web, seeking to bring technical jobs and job hunters together.

"The whole objective is to bring people into this area," said David Straitiff, chairman of InfoTech Niagara.

Members of the 80-company group and other technology companies can post job openings on the site at www.infotechniagara.org/joblist.asp.

In coming months, the group plans to expand the site with a section on which job hunters can post their resumes.

The technology jobs bank isn't just for programmers or engineers, Straitiff said. People who have worked in sales or marketing for a tech company may have skills as specific as a programmer devoted to C .

The seven postings already on the site include openings for technicians, project managers and sales managers as well as engineers.

"The job market is still tight, especially for people with three to five years' experience," said James Masiello, director of finance and human resources at Atto Technology Inc. in Amherst.

The maker of personal computer components advertises locally and recruits on area campuses. But the Web site may reach people elsewhere who are looking to relocate to the region, Masiello said.

For example, one of Atto's top sales representatives gave up a job in New Jersey because his wife, an area native, wanted to return. The Web job bank could reach others in a similar situation.

The InfoTech Niagara site will join a plethora of Web-based job banks, said Coleen Switala, owner of Database Search Inc., a technology industry recruiting firm in Amherst. Sites like the Monster Board or the Online Career Center carry listings from tech companies around the nation.

But a site with a local focus -- provided it's listed with major Internet search engines like Yahoo! and Alta Vista -- could reach job hunters who are looking to settle in a specific place.

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