Introducing Employ Buffalo Niagara

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership and a coalition of employers, community leaders, educators and service providers have created Employ Buffalo Niagara, a new initiative to strengthen the local job market through employer-led workforce development.

Employ Buffalo Niagara aims to streamline workforce development efforts and give employers better access to a greater number of qualified, diverse job candidates in Western New York. At the same time, the initiative aims to connect job seekers with a growing number of career opportunities in the region.

“The difference in this approach is that it is employer-led workforce development – a system driven by employer needs and better aligned with employer job opportunities,” explained,” Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, President and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

The new program began as a working group of Partnership Board members and staff was seeking solutions to the difficulties area employers had filling jobs openings. That group expanded into a coalition of partners from business, government, philanthropic and non-profit organizations to become Employ Buffalo Niagara.

1 of 7 regions in the country.

Thanks to the coalition efforts, the United States Department of Commerce’s “Communities that Work Partnership” recognized Buffalo Niagara as one of seven regions in the country to be awarded a technical assistance grant to advance employer-led workforce development efforts.

Employ Buffalo Niagara leveraged the technical assistance grant to introduce a new strategy called Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) that was developed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

  • In this approach, employers work together more directly in addressing their needs and speaking with a common voice to coalition partners.
  • TPM places employers on the same page so they can take a more effective leadership role in working with education and workforce partners.

A collaborative effort.

Employ Buffalo Niagara is governed by an executive committee – staffed by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership –  which oversees the work of the coalition.

  • Employ Buffalo Niagara is open to anyone who wishes to participate
  • There are quarterly meetings and regular communications to keep interested parties informed.
  • The United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, a partner agency in Employ Buffalo Niagara, will help identify workforce and training agencies that can assist filling projected job openings.
  • The program will help create a more efficient process for both businesses and community agencies by reducing the amount of time and resources needed to connect people to open positions, where there tends to be the most turnover.

Focused on manufacturing to start.

Employ Buffalo Niagara will begin its focus on manufacturing, one the of the priority sectors identified in both the Labor Market Assessment and by the Regional Economic Development Council.

  • Manufacturers will be hit hard by retirements over the next 10 years, in addition to steady growth expected in the industry.
  • A survey was recently sent to employers to help identify future entry level job projections, job competencies, required credentials, and essential employability skills.
  • The data will be used to identify a first group of employers with like hiring needs.

A special thank you to our manufacturers council for their commitment to lead this initiative. Employ Buffalo Niagara was started to help manufacturers find qualified candidates to fill their openings. As we move forward we will be targeting other sectors such as tourism/hospitality and healthcare.

Learn more about Employ Buffalo Niagara today.

For more information, including a list of participating Employ Buffalo Niagara members, visit employbuffaloniagara.org. Or contact Jeff Conrad, Senior Director of Workforce Development at the Partnership, at 716-541-1729; e-mail jconrad@thepartnership.org.