Over $1.5 million awarded to 4 local non-profits through WNY Workforce Development Challenge

According to the governor's office, the grants will be administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that four local, not-for-profit organizations in Western New York have been awarded more than $1.5 million through the third round of the Western New York Workforce Development Challenge.

According to the governor's office, the Western New York Workforce Development Challenge is part of the governor's Buffalo Billion initiative. The program helps to ensure that the workforce pipeline in the Western New York region is "being responsive to industry demands, and invests in innovative approaches to workforce training for underserved populations."

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The $11.5 million Workforce Development Challenge was designed to help unemployed and underemployed people in Western New York through promoting and investing in innovative approaches to workforce training. So far, more than $5.6 million has been awarded to 12 not-for-profit organizations in Western New York through three rounds of funding.

"These program awardees will provide professionals with the training and skills they need to compete in today's fast-growing industries and help New York build back better," Governor Cuomo said. "The state's workforce must adapt in order to take full advantage of the opportunities in the rapidly changing economy, and our Workforce Development Challenge is giving Western New Yorkers the edge they need to succeed."  

The following local organizations were awarded money under the program:

  • Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology, Inc. was awarded $482,350
  • Community Missions of Niagara Frontier, Inc. was awarded $273,083
  • Goodwill of Western New York was awarded $250,000
  • Jamestown Community College Foundation was awarded $541,765

The Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology, Inc. says it will use the funding to create a new program, which would provide training for careers in IT/Tech. While the Community Missions of Niagara Frontier, Inc. says it plans on expanding its parole re-entry program with the funds. The 13-week training program would focus on tourism and hospitality, combining real-world work and soft skills learning.

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Goodwill of Western New York plans on using the funds to launch a workforce readiness program, which aims to promote diversity and equity, and provide participants with individually focused career counseling, job placement and retention assistance. While the Jamestown Community College Foundation plans on launching a new short-term advanced manufacturing training program. The program will prepare Western New Yorkers for jobs in advanced manufacturing through CNC/Machining and machining technician programs.

According to the governor's office, the grants will be administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.

"Job training is a critical tool to reimagine our economy so that it is inclusive to all and make sure no one falls behind," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Today's announcement provides a pathway to connect Western New Yorkers with the skills and training for the jobs in information technology, tourism and advanced manufacturing, making success accessible to all." 

The governor's office also notes that future funding rounds of the Western New York Workforce Development Challenge will be announced in the coming months. Click here for more information.