Modified: January 19, 2017 2:18pm
The Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Investment Board (“WIB”) today released its annual report, highlighting successes of the One Stop Career centers, noting partnerships with local employers that have flourished recently and calling attention to the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (“WIOA”) of 2014, which permitted expanded relationships with employers along with easier access to system resources. Among other items, the report shows that in 2015-16 over 9,200 total individuals were placed in jobs at an average annual salary of $27,825 and that 339 employers participated in 7 job and career pathway fairs attended by over 2,200 residents.
“Though unemployment numbers continue to decline in our region due to increased job growth and economic resurgence, the need for services of the workforce system does not waver,” said Heather Gresham, Executive Director of the WIB. “With the implementation of the WIOA in 2016, we are able to provide more comprehensive supports to job seekers, partner with more businesses to generate interest in emerging careers in our area, and create enhanced training and internship opportunities for people seeking employment. It is a more integrated and partner-oriented approach that is paying dividends and helping our economy.”
The WIB provides one comprehensive One Stop Career Center and four affiliate Job Centers located in Buffalo, Williamsville, and Orchard Park. Two affiliates are staffed and operated by the NYS Department of Labor and two are operated by Erie Community College. All Centers provide customers with career exploration, assessment tests and tools, career planning, referrals to training opportunities, financial aid assistance, and more. Services are available to job seekers, employers, youth, and individuals who are currently employed but seeking to upgrade their skills.
Gresham added, “We work with individuals who are at every conceivable point of their job search, as well as employers who are seeking varied types of employees with multiple skill sets. As our workforce continues to grow, diversify, and become increasingly specialized we need to ensure that supports are in place to develop the workers we will need tomorrow and that employers can access these employees easily.”
Among other highlights, the annual report also noted that participation in Youth Services programs assisted 1,092 total youth in 2015-15, with 753 youth participating in summer youth employment services that help to develop workforce skills and qualities needed to succeed in today’s labor market. Working over 80,000 hours, these youth were employed in not-for-profit and for-profit worksites throughout Erie County as day care and classroom aides, food service workers, clerical support aides, healthcare aides, and as pool and ground maintenance workers. In addition to work experience, these youth were also eligible to receive tutoring in mathematics, reading and writing, and financial literacy to maintain academic skills.
For more information:
On the Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Investment Board, visit http://www.becwib.org/default.asp