New York Workforce Center Focuses on Power, Manufacturing Jobs

A 35-acre workforce center in Buffalo, New York, will prepare the region's workforce for skilled jobs in power and advanced manufacturing.

The Empire State Development office has announced a non-profit consortium will operate the $44 million, 35-acre Western New York Workforce Training Center (WTC) entering its final phases of development.

The Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance, Catholic Charities of Buffalo, Inc., Goodwill Industries of Western New York, Inc. and Buffalo Urban League are members of the non-profit consortium, the Economic Development Group (EDG), that will liaise with academic partners and private industry to operate the WTC.

Specifically, EDG will coordinate with State University of New York educational partners to schedule programs for jobs training in advanced manufacturing and energy sectors. The consortium will also facilitate services that enable students to participate, including child care, transportation, pre-requisite testing, as well as placement and case management for internships and job.

Preparing the Region on Two Fronts

The new center, expected to open for classes by 2018, is funded with $29 million from the Buffalo Billion and $15 million from the New York Power Authority. Both organizations are motivated to ensure a future workforce of highly trained, skilled job seekers as part of strategic planning initiatives, according to Buffalo Billion's webpage.

Industry estimates indicate that due to retirements and growth, there will be more than 20,000 job vacancies in the region's manufacturing sector over the next 10 years. The region’s workforce does not currently have the skills to meet demands. But the goal of the WTC is to facilitate promising careers as much as it will surge redevelopment in the Northland Corridor, a former manufacturing belt with a series of underused properties that partners in the region are working to redevelop.

I am pleased to see the former Clearing Niagara factory on Buffalo’s East Side being redeveloped as the WTC, which will help to further the redevelopment of our entire city,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

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