Goodwill's Chairman’s Award is presented to an individual that is delivering superior and urgently needed services to an underserved population enabling people to achieve better lives for themselves and their families. We think that describes Stephen Tucker perfectly.
Photo credit: Mark Mulville, Buffalo News
Stephen is the inaugural President & CEO of the Northland Workforce Training Center and is responsible for the management, oversight and day-to-day operations of the 80,000 square-foot facility focused on training and preparing Western New Yorkers for careers in advanced manufacturing and clean energy.
As Governor Andrew Cuomo's signature workforce initiative under the Buffalo Billion initiative, the Northland Workforce Training Center is an industry-driven, public-private partnership between employers, educational institutions, community and faith-based organizations and state and local government. It is focused on closing the skills gap of the local labor pool and creating economic on-ramps to training, co-ops, internships, apprenticeships, and permanent employment for Western New Yorkers seeking high-paying advanced manufacturing and energy careers.
Stephen, a US Air Force Veteran, has over 15 years of workforce development experience. He previously served as the assistant executive director for Partners for a Competitive Workforce and as the vice-president of workforce development with the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati. Stephen joined Northland at a time when the site was little more than a collection of abandoned manufacturing buildings with leaking roofs, crumbling floors and peeling paint, but he was excited by the vision for the project and quickly developed a passion for the mission that was contagious. Stephen disproved the notion that it takes a long time for an “outsider” to be accepted into the community and soon became the face of Northland. He shared his vision in churches, community centers, schools, government offices and everywhere he could about the “outstanding career opportunities available in the trades” and the new manufacturing world that was “not your grandfather’s manufacturing”.
Goodwill is honored to be a member of this unique partnership of workforce development and industry organizations. We’re especially excited about the positive impact that Stephen and the Northland Workforce Training Center are having on Buffalo’s East Side and the opportunities being afforded the residents as part of the entire Northland Corridor initiative.