Modified: January 16, 2020 12:04pm
The Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Investment Board (“WIB”) has released its 2018-2019 annual report, spotlighting the continued success of the Career Pathways program, newly-developed bilingual training programs, and partnerships implemented with local businesses to address transportation issues and other barriers to employment as some of the successes of the past year. The WIB also continued to expand direct community outreach in the past year, creating dozens of stand-alone skills training programs for the priority sectors of Advanced Manufacturing, Advanced Technology Systems, Building Trades, Hospitality and Tourism, and Professional Services. In addition, the WIB launched the first bilingual Advanced Manufacturing Certified Production Technician training for Spanish speakers in New York State and expanded Pathways to Success certified trainings for dislocated workers into Niagara and Chautauqua counties.
The annual report can be read here .
“The Workforce Investment Board performs a critical function in our community, serving to help job seekers acquire the skill sets they need to succeed while simultaneously working with employers to place prospective employees. Through the efforts of the WIB Erie County is building a workforce that is relevant to today’s industries, trained for current high-demand careers, and ready to help local businesses prosper,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “This annual report shows the progress that the WIB has been making and I look forward to working with the new Director of Workforce Development, Geoffrey Szymanski, to take these successes to new heights.”
The WIB’s Youth Services program works with disadvantaged youth with specific social, educational, and employment barriers to develop and enhance the skills needed to attain a diploma or high school equivalent, enroll in occupational skills training or post-secondary education, and/or obtain employment.
The program has served a total of 446 youth, helping 66 out-of-school youth to attain a high school equivalency, 25 attain other recognized credentials, and 122 to attain their high school diplomas. In addition, through this program 161 young people entered unsubsidized employment, education or training and 79 participated in year-round paid work experiences.
The WIB is also having success with the Health Professional Opportunity Grant program, which provides Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (“TANF”) and other low-income individuals in Erie and Niagara counties the opportunity to obtain training for high-demand healthcare occupations such as licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, pharmacy technician, certified nursing assistant, and more. To date, more than 1,500 TANF and low-income individuals have completed training, with more than 1,200 entering employment at a current average starting wage of $30,971. Training partners for the HPOG program include Erie 1 BOCES, Erie 2 BOCES, SUNY Erie, Trocaire College, D’Youville College, the University of Buffalo, Villa Maria College, and Niagara County Community College.
“Priority of Service” is afforded by the WIB to veterans and their eligible spouses in accordance with the Jobs for Veterans Act of 2002 and the Veterans’ Benefits, Health Care and Information technology Act of 2006. WIB staff who understand the value and challenges of military experience in the civilian workforce assist veterans in articulating military skills, connecting with veteran-friendly employers and accessing benefits available specifically to veterans.
For more information:
On the WIB, visit www.workforcebuffalo.org
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