UBRI is partnering with the Center for Regional Strategies (CRS) to support the WNY Manufacturing and Tech Workforce Coalition, a 13-member initiative that has come together to strengthen the manufacturing and tech workforce and expand career opportunities for individuals who are underrepresented in these fields.

The coalition’s mission is to meet employer demand by growing the skills of the region’s workforce. It will focus on aligning training/education with industry needs; facilitating career pathways in manufacturing and tech; providing local businesses with a qualified workforce and building the region’s talent pipeline for the future.

This collaborative initiative takes an ecosystem-based approach, building on previous collaborative planning efforts for the federal Good Jobs Challenge and Build Back Better Regional Challenge. The coalition includes workforce trainers, pipeline developers, employers, community-based organizations and intermediaries that play a key role in connecting the dots across the ecosystem, assessing needs, identifying solutions, tracking progress, and ensuring that resources reach the community.

UBRI is leading the project’s workforce research, performance tracking, and outcomes measurement efforts, keeping coalition members informed of the latest workforce trends, hiring employers, and in-demand skills and occupations. UBRI will also support the coalition through a new data sharing agreement with NYSDOL, helping coalition-member trainers track and communicate about their progress over time, identify areas where additional support may be needed, and understand the individual and collective impacts of their programs. CRS is leading the coalition’s convening, cross-coalition partnership building, fundraising and liaison efforts.

Stephen Tucker, President & CEO of Northland Workforce Training Center, serves as Executive Director of the coalition. He is spearheading the effort and will work to build strategy; convene members and connect them with employers; and address employer needs.

Current coalition members are: Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT), Dream It Do It – BNMA, Dream It Do It – Southern Tier, Goodwill of WNY, Jamestown Community College (JCC), Manufacturing Alliance of the Southern Tier (MAST), Northland Workforce Training Center (NWTC), Per Scholas, TechBuffalo, Trocaire College, University at Buffalo The Center for Industrial Effectiveness (UB TCIE), and the Workforce Development Boards of Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua Counties.

Investing in a coordinated, collaborative, strategic way will maximize impact and leverage federal, state and local dollars. This strategy will drive economic growth by building an inclusive workforce pipeline; scaling up models that work; meeting employer skill needs in priority sectors; and leveraging programs and strengths of coalition members.

View the coalition’s structure.

The coalition was built in partnership with Empire State Development and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

Check back here in early 2024 for more details and to view our WNY Manufacturing and Tech Workforce Coalition mini-book/program summary along with interactive maps of employers, trainers and Community-Based Organizations.