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Mark Simonson

April 29, 2013

Job opportunities abounded in area 45 years ago

If you were looking for a job in April 1968 in our area, or perhaps looking to change your employment situation in the near future, opportunities were pointing in your favor.

Lillian Creighton, owner of the Oneonta Dress Co., then at 359 Chestnut St., welcomed local applicants, but they weren’t beating down the doors at the plant, where Smoker Friendly and the Catalog Outlet Store are found today.

Creighton, it was reported on Monday, April 1, had been so unable to obtain local workers, she embarked on an effort to bring 50 immigrant families to Oneonta, assuring them of jobs and housing.

“The families are expected to be Cuban refugees or other newcomers to the United States from Italy, Ireland or Spain,” according to The Oneonta Star.

Mrs. Creighton turned to immigrant families as a labor supply after she tried “every avenue possible” to get area people.

“We even lined up buses to transport women from Cooperstown and Walton if they would come to work at Oneonta Dress, but we couldn’t get enough of them,” Creighton said.

There were no follow-up reports on the effort in 1968, but Oneonta Dress Co. , founded by Mrs. Creighton in 1949, weathered the labor shortage, as the business continued until merging with another company in the late 1980s.

If fast food was more to your liking for employment, Carrolls Restaurants was ready to build a new hamburger stand in Oneonta’s East End, at the corner of Main and Park Streets, where the Oneonta Veterinary Hospital is today.

Carrolls had another drive-in restaurant at the West End Shopping Plaza, known today as the West Gate Plaza. A Carrolls executive said Oneonta had been so receptive to its products that they wanted to add the second location. Both restaurants took on the Burger King name in the mid-1970s.

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Mark Simonson

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