Brendan Keany

Northland Training Center Graduating First Class of Students

Future semesters filling up fast

August 16, 2019 - 12:12 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - Friday marks a major milestone for the Northland Workforce Training Center, the signature workforce initiative under Governor Cuomo's Buffalo Billion, as they're graduating their first class of students.

"We've been working very diligently over the past two years to launch the training center," said President & CEO Stephen Tucker. "We have our first graduating class today, so we're very, very excited about our graduating class along with our incoming students."

The training center works through its educational partners, SUNY Erie Community College and Alfred State, to prepare students for careers in advanced manufacturing.

"We provide training, education, SUNY certificates and degrees right here on the East Side of Buffalo," said Tucker. "We have four different programs, three offered by SUNY Alfred State, one by SUNY Erie, and they're all preparing individuals for exciting careers in advanced manufacturing and energy. We know, based off of labor market information, we have a huge talent shortage of qualified candidates to fill these positions. Some of our business partners communicate to us that they have upwards of 3,000 job openings right now that they can't fill."

These positions include jobs like welding, machinists, mechatronics technicians, industrial electricians - and Northland is working to fill that pipeline.

"We're excited because we are projected to need to fill, over the next ten years, 20,000 job openings in technical careers," he said. "Twenty-thousand job openings that pay family-sustainable wages - $40,000 - $60,000 a year entry level, but $70,000 - $90,000 a year once you get some experience - this is a huge opportunity to support local residents and to support our local companies in the economy."

However, there is a pretty high demand for spots at Northland. Tucker noted that 120 new students will start their training this September, but the classes are filling up. This semester is already full, and Northland is already halfway filled for the spring semester, which begins in January.

Interested or prospective students are required to attend a pre-enrollment session, and you can find more information about the programs and sessions here.

Listen to the full conversation with Tucker below:

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