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Business Council, Blaze Turn to Headless Horseman to Attract Workers

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September 27, 2022

By Rick Pezzullo

The Business Council of Westchester and Historic Hudson Valley are teaming up to try to fill thousands of positions in the workplace, with the help of the legendary Headless Horseman.

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Capitalizing on the popularity of Historic Hudson Valley’s Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson, which attracts more than 125,000 spectators annually during the Halloween season, the Business Council has placed eye-catching signage on the Blaze grounds at Van Cortlandt Manor featuring the Headless Horseman as a “silent spokesperson” to encourage job seekers to scan a special QR code or go directly to a new web portal www.westchesterwantsyou.com.

“Attracting talent is a major concern for Westchester business owners, because we are competing with companies in New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut who are all vying for attention within the same talent pool,” said Dr. Marsha Gordon, CEO of The Business Council of Westchester. “Yet, when we thought internally about exploring new, powerful lead generation sources, the Blaze immediately came to mind as a unique opportunity to reach more than 125,000 visitors from within that same 150-mile radius with demographics similar to our target audience.”

For the initial launch, companies including Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Maier Markey and Justic, LLP, Cuddy & Feder, LLP, and Tompkins Excavating agreed to participate in the pilot, and more companies will be added over the coming months.

“Beyond the historical, educational and entertainment value we provide to the community, we are equally an economic engine for the region, so to partner with a prominent business organization on something as important as attracting talent and utilizing the Blaze in such a unique and exciting way is truly an honor and we are thrilled to be part of this effort,” said Historic Hudson Valley President Waddell Stillman.

Historic Hudson Valley, Westchester’s largest cultural organization, educates and entertains more than 325,000 visitors a year through school programs, tours of five National Historic Landmarks, and Halloween-themed experiences. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze has drawn more than two million visitors since 2005.

The Business Council of Westchester represents more than 1,000 members, including multinational corporations, hospitals, universities, biotech pioneers, not-for-profits, entrepreneurs, and companies of all sizes.

“We couldn’t have moved so quickly without Historic Hudson Valley believing in the concept and the importance of what a partnership between business and non-profit leadership could yield for the betterment of the area economy,” Gordon said.

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