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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: April 5, 2018

Northland Workforce Training Center Project Reaches Construction Milestone Ahead of August Debut

Northland Presser Pic

Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown was joined by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, and other elected officials today, to announce that the Northland Workforce Training Center has reached a key construction milestone with window installation underway. The first set of 156 replica historic windows are now being installed in the former industrial building, located at 683 Northland Avenue.
“We’ve reached an exciting milestone. The Northland Workforce Training Center will welcome its first students in just over four months. Remediation, stabilization, and interior demolition is complete, and new concrete floors have been poured. And as these windows go in, you can feel this building come alive,” Mayor Brown said.
“Growing up in Western New York, I remember seeing the impact of factories being shuttered and workers losing their jobs,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The Governor and I have a bold vision to build off Buffalo’s legacy as a global hub for industry and commerce and have focused on attracting new businesses offering advanced careers of the 21st century. The Northland Workforce Training Center is a key part of our State’s economic development strategy in Buffalo and Western New York. This project will prepare a new generation of skilled workers and provides a catalyst for the future of Buffalo’s East Side by restoring a historic building to its former glory.”
The adaptive reuse of the idle plant began on June 4, 2017. The project is on track for the 80,000-square-foot Northland Workforce Training Center to open in August. The training center is the centerpiece of the $100+ million transformation of the Northland Corridor.
“As progress continues toward the opening of the training center in August, I thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for embracing and supporting our shared vision for this transformative project that will be a game-changer for the Northland neighborhood, on Buffalo’s east side, and for our entire City,” Mayor Brown said.

Installation of the replica historic windows will preserve the original look of the former Niagara Machine & Tool Works building, which was constructed in 1911. Use of the replica windows in the transformation is key design element which led the National Park Service to list the site on the National Register of Historic Places earlier this week.
“The listing by the National Park Service brings this project a critical step closer to receiving $19 million in a combination of state and federal historic tax credits. This is extremely good news for the project and for Buffalo’s east side,” Mayor Brown said.
Mayor Brown also detailed the $5.7 million Northland Avenue Streetscape Project, which will get underway next Monday, April 9th. Crews will begin re-paving Northland Avenue, between Fillmore Avenue and Grider Street. The project also includes new curbs, sidewalks, LED street lights, lighting, landscaping, and rehabilitation of sewer and water systems.
“This makes the project even more real. To me, closing the street is a powerful indicator that Northland is real and it is happening,” Mayor Brown said.
“Through a much-needed investment by New York State and the City of Buffalo, we’re seeing a building - and a neighborhood - brought back to life and fueled by opportunities on the horizon,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “Soon enough, residents will have a workforce training center and employment possibilities within walking distance of their homes. I applaud today’s milestone, and look forward to celebrating the invaluable resources that await.”
“Seeing the progress at The Northland Workforce Training Center has been rejuvenating. This is a transformational project for numerous reasons: as a catalyst for corridor redevelopment and neighborhood reinvestment, as a hub for employment and training for sustaining families and households, and as an opportunity for local companies to gain valuable experience,” said Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes. “I’d like to thank Gov. Cuomo and all of my colleagues in government for making this possible; I eagerly look forward to the day that the center begins serving residents.”
“The milestone reached today brings us one step closer to turning this big audacious vision into reality. The training center will not only provide a beacon of hope for those searching for a career with family sustaining wages, it will also be a catalyst that generates future economic development for many years to come,” Stephen Tucker, President & CEO, Northland Workforce Training Center.
The Northland Workforce Training Center will address the needs of manufacturers to fill employment skills gaps among the region’s workforce. Manufacturing is still third-largest industry sector in the region, employing more than 50,000 people and generating $3.2 billion in wages. Industry estimates indicate that between now and 2027, due to retirements and growth, there will be over 17,000 job vacancies in Buffalo/Niagara’s manufacturing sector. However, the region’s current workforce does not have the employment skills to meet these demands.
On July 15, 2015, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled plans for the $65 million Western New York Workforce Training Center, a new hub which will focus primarily on training for careers in the advanced manufacturing and energy sectors. To be branded as 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. In addition, Mayor Byron W. Brown’s Administration has committed $4 million in Community Development Block Grant funds towards this effort, negotiated a workforce benefit agreement with the Building Trades that will help bring job training to the East Side, and as co-chair of BUDC, directed staff to aggressively assemble approximately 50 acres of land for future development in the Northland Corridor to create an East Side Business Park.

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