BUFFALO, N.Y. — A big Buffalo developer is hosting a job fair on Buffalo's East Side to recruit workers for at least two East Side projects.
Sinatra & Company Real Estate is getting ready to start a two-building project on Jefferson Avenue, and the company will be renovating the McCarley Gardens apartments next to the Medical Campus.
"The street has got great history, great bones, and a great neighborhood. The community really has been so supportive. They want to see that street be what it was once,” said Nick Sinatra, president of the company.
Sinatra bought two blocks of land. They’re already cleared and fenced off, and he says construction should start in Spring 2018.
But he needs workers, so he's hosting the first of several job fairs this Tuesday, Nov. 14 right across from the future site at the Greater Refuge Temple of Christ.
It's a very intentional location.
"When these projects go up, the people that are helping build them should be from the neighborhood,” Sinatra said.
The apartments were designed with input from members of the Clergy about what Jefferson needs.
"It's not just about us building a building, it's about the people that are going to be in those neighborhoods, because like I said, we're putting people first,” said Tim Sanders, a community partner for Sinatra & Co.
Sinatra said he’s putting about $25 million into the new Jefferson apartments, and elected leaders are working to come up with another $25 million from the state.
"The public sector working with the private sector working with the clergy working with community activists. It's really a total team effort here,” Sinatra said.
Perhaps the best part of the upcoming job fair is that it's okay if you haven't worked in construction. Skilled Services International is happy to help train.
"If somebody is willing to come to work on a daily basis and show up on time when scheduled, I'm willing to show them any trade they'd like to get into,” said David Farinacci, president of Skilled Services.
He’ll have a vital role at the job fair assessing people’s skill sets and determining what they want to do. Farinacci said he and his brother have picked up workers at their homes to take them to work on previous projects, so he understands the importance of having a job right in your own neighborhood.
Farinacci said the jobs could start at $12 an hour with opportunity to go up to nearly $20 an hour.
“With the resources they have in schools taking shop classes out of schools, limited resources in terms of where to get real training...I think it's time to start looking out of the box and say, what can we do for these folks?” Farinacci said.
Sinatra is also hiring for the revitalization of McCarley Gardens, the townhomes next to the medical campus that are going on forty years old.
Because of gentrification fears in that area, 2 On Your Side made sure to ask that those renovations wouldn't make the rent go up. Sinatra said that's up to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but it's not his intention.
"We're just trying to reassure residents that, no, there's no intention for any displacement, but give them some comfort that they have somebody that they can actually have a face to the company that they can go to and express their concerns as the construction process goes along,” Sanders said.
The job fair takes place Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 4:00 p.m. at the Greater Refuge Temple of Christ, 943 Jefferson Avenue.