Northland Workforce Training Center
On July 15, 2015, New York State unveiled plans for the $44 million Western New York Workforce Training Center, a new hub focusing primarily on training for careers in the advanced manufacturing and energy sectors. It is called the "Northland Workforce Training Center," the facility is being funded with $29 million from the Buffalo Billion and $15 million from the New York Power Authority.
The approximately 100,000-square-foot facility houses administrative space, classrooms, and industrial shops/labs designed to train and turn out highly-skilled members of the local workforce to meet the requirements of the 21st century advanced manufacturing and electric utility industries. With technical support by the University at Buffalo's Regional Institute, ESD developed a business plan for the Center targeted to best provide workforce training opportunities to the traditionally most underrepresented groups in the city's workforce. The instructional staff/curricula components of the center will be provided by three SUNY institutions (Erie Community College, Alfred State College and Buffalo State College).
The Center was created through the adaptive reuse of a portion of a historic industrial structure at 683 Northland Avenue-the former Clearing Niagara Plant-and will serve as the anchor tenant of the Northland Beltline on Buffalo’s East Side. Click here to learn more about the Northland Beltline Development.
ESD and NYPA partnered with the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC), which is serving as the developer of the project, as well as the larger Northland Beltline.
In August of 2017, ESD announced the appointment of Stephen Tucker as the President & CEO of the NWTC.
The center graduated its first students in August 2019.
In December of 2019, New York State announced a strategic partnership between NWTC and SUNY Empire State College's Harry Van Arsdale Jr. School of Labor that will build on the Center's highly-successful training model and will allow SUNY Empire to collaborate with the Center's CEO and management team, grow and put the Center on a path to long-term economic sustainability. Empire State College will provide NWTC with $10 million in academic, student, and other support over five years. More information about the NWTC can be found here.
This new workforce training facility is focused on the needs of manufacturers to fill employment skills gaps among area residents. Manufacturing is now the third largest industry sector in the region, employing more than 66,000 people and generating $6.3 billion in gross regional product (GRP). Industry estimates indicate over the next 10 years, due to retirements and growth, there will be over 20,000 job vacancies in Buffalo/Niagara’s manufacturing sector. However, the region’s workforce does not currently have the employment skills to meet these demands.