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Congressman Higgins & Goodwill Outline Plans to Accelerate Workforce Training

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) joined Goodwill of Western New York President and CEO Thomas R. Ulbrich and Steve Davis, President of Tapecon, Inc. to outline how a portion of the recently awarded $25 million federal Build Back Better grant will be used to support career training and job placement for Western New York workers.

“This is an investment in people, an opportunity to change lives, and to build a stronger local economy,” said Congressman Higgins. “Goodwill of WNY is serving as that bridge between workers, employers and the community to support a stable workforce and open up avenues of opportunity in quality, high-demand jobs.”

“Goodwill of WNY has more than 100 years of experience helping individuals overcome barriers and reach their fullest potential through the power of work,” said Thomas Ulbrich, President and CEO of Goodwill of Western New York. “We are excited to leverage this funding to expand Goodskills Career Builder and prepare even more underserved individuals across Western New York for advanced manufacturing careers.”

In September, the U.S. Economic Development Administration selected Western New York, led by the Empire State Development Corporation, as one of just 21 national winners of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge. The award, made possible through the American Rescue Plan, will provide a total of $25 million for the Western New York Advanced Manufacturing Initiative.

The three-part award includes $3.6 million for Goodwill of Western New York to expand and enhance the Goodskills Career Builder initiative. In collaboration with employers and trainers, Goodwill will help prepare workers for careers in Advanced Manufacturing through a four-week training initiative provided to participants free-of-charge. The initiative will have the dual benefit of helping to fill a growing need for skilled workers among businesses and providing opportunities for people to advance from minimum- or low-wage jobs into higher paying careers.

Community-based outreach will be conducted in underrepresented and underserved communities, including those living in poverty, as well as those recently unemployed or currently underemployed. Goodwill will help remove existing barriers to employment by facilitating connections to childcare, financial literacy, housing assistance, veteran support, food access, and other available resources.

Through collaboration with 35 Western New York manufacturing employers, Goodwill will ensure worker training meets the individualized needs of local companies. The goal of the grant is for 750 people to complete the Goodskills Career Builder initiative over the next three years, including 300 in Erie County, 150 in Niagara County and another 300 across the counties of Chautauqua Cattaraugus and Allegany. Under the initiative, each participant is assigned a career coach who provides ongoing support post-placement for up to three years.

For more information visit or call 716-854-3494.


See WGRZ coverage here

Read Buffalo News article here

Read Niagara Frontier Publications article here


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