Employ Buffalo Niagara Coalition Meeting Highlights Local Workforce Efforts

Employ Buffalo Niagara partners receive update on ongoing initiatives

It was a full house for the November meeting of the Employ Buffalo Niagara Coalition as partners provided updates on several different programs and initiatives in workforce development in our region. That included a review of the Coalition’s main working groups including:

Access & Transportation

This group is focused on improving ways area workers can access employment opportunities in the Buffalo Niagara region. Partners were reminded of the free webinar on December 6 on improving commutes for employees. Sign up here. This group next meets on December 5.

Awareness – A.L.I.C.E. (Access Limited, Income Constrained and Employed)

This group aims to reach low-wage and under-employed workers and provide opportunity/training for higher paying careers.  The group has been discussing Braided Funding, an initiative to maximize public and private resources for pre-employment, employment, wrap services, upskilling and retention.

Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI) and THRIVE Buffalo

The Coalition meeting also included a presentation on the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative and THRIVE Buffalo. ESPRI is a $25 million initiative to help support community-driven, poverty reduction strategies that increase economic opportunity for all New Yorkers. THRIVE is a workforce development initiative of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County.

Doris CarbonellMedina, J.D., Project Director at ESPRI, spoke about 16 cities in New York that have received funding through this initiative, including Buffalo which was allotted $2.5 million in the program.

Aligned with ESPRI, THRIVE Buffalo’s workforce development initiative will help to connect underemployed and unemployed City of Buffalo residents living in financial hardship with education, training, and supportive services. Its aim is to help these residents secure and maintain employment with companies in high-growth industries in, as well as to transition into long-term financial stability.

For more information on ESPRI, click here.