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Advance Buffalo - Information for Businesses

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For more information, please call (716) 851-2750

The Advance Buffalo pilot program is a workforce initiative of the Buffalo Billion Economic Development strategy. The Buffalo Billion Economic Development strategy is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's plan for economic growth in the Buffalo area.

Advance Buffalo focuses on the advanced manufacturing sector in Western New York. It is designed to change the way we help businesses find the right employees for their open positions. We are working with manufacturers in a variety of different areas - from food plants to pharmaceutical plants, metalworking and other fabrication plants. We provide support similar to executive search services. We do this by learning as much as we can about your company's culture and employment needs in order to match the right job candidates to your business.

Going forward, we will create a common language for job positions. For example, instead of simply having one job description for Welder, we expect to have job descriptions for Welder Level 1, 2, 3, or 4.  As more specific job descriptions are identified, we will provide them to you.

How does Advance Buffalo benefit your businesses?

  • This is a high-touch process designed to quickly get people employed at minimum cost to your business.
  • You will see more candidates who closely match your employment needs.
  • The candidates we send to you will be pre-screened for drugs. (We recognize you may continue to do drug testing as part of your final employment process.)
  • You will be able to fill open positions faster.
  • We expect that this assessment process will improve your retention numbers and decrease attrition.
  • Your workforce will become more diverse.
  • You may receive financial support for on-the-job training for certain candidates. This depends on a variety of factors, including the length of time a candidate was unemployed (DOL dislocated worker funds), etc.
  • You will participate in the regional efforts to get more people back to work and to upgrade the manufacturing skills of workers in Western New York.
  • This program will help us determine skills gaps. It will also help our local educational providers develop curriculum to erase those gaps and meet the needs of companies like yours.
  • Candidates will be referred to educational programs available at little or no cost to them.

What job categories does the program focus on?

The Advance Buffalo pilot program focuses on seven occupations:

  1. Entry-level Production Operator/Distribution Worker
  2. Welder
  3. Electrician
  4. CNC Machinist
  5. Quality Assurance Inspector/Lab Technician
  6. Mechanic
  7. Electro-Mechanical Technician

Why only those occupations?
Manufacturers identified them as positions of high growth and high need. After the pilot program is complete, we hope to expand our services to fill other jobs within the manufacturing sector.

How do we assess job candidates?

We are conducting a wide outreach for a diverse group of potential job candidates. Candidates go through the following process before we send them to you for an interview:

  • Candidates submit their résumés through this website.
  • Their résumés are reviewed.
  • Candidates are interviewed by special Advance Buffalo team members. Team members ascertain their interest in a career in advanced manufacturing and their willingness to participate in the pilot program. They also assess their requisite soft/work-readiness skills.
  • Candidates may take tests, including the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE), which allow us to assess their reading and math skills.
  • Candidates go through drug screening as part of the assessment process.
  • Candidates also go through a résumé review and mock interview. Our staff will assess their skills and interests to assure that a manufacturing career is a good fit.
  • When we feel candidates are ready for an interview, we send them to the companies we believe are the best fit. The business decides whether or not to hire the person. We request feedback about the job candidate from the business. (Is this the right fit for you? Is this a total miss? If so, how can we better match you with the next candidate?) We also request feedback from the job candidates to see if they feel they were prepared for the interview process and how well they think it went.
  • If a potential job candidate needs just a few skills, we send him/her to a training provider for rapid skill training to quickly get his/her skills up to date so the candidate can return to the job interview process.

What are the expectations of businesses?

  • Send us your job openings over the next six months, and take a little time to give us some background on your culture and employment needs.
  • Be willing to give us feedback on job candidates. Did you hire them? Did you not hire them? Why not? Once they are hired, we will check in with you to make sure everything is going well. If things are not going well, we'll be happy to intervene to see if we can correct any problem (e.g., attendance or timeliness, etc.). We can send you a brief five-question survey (through Survey Monkey, for example) or have a phone call - whatever is easiest for you.
  • Allow us to list your company on this website as one of the participating businesses in the Advance Buffalo pilot program. We will provide a link to your company's website to provide candidates more information.

Do you already send your job openings to DOL?

If you already send your job openings to DOL, you do not have to do anything different. We will pull your job openings from the automatic feed once you tell us you want to be part of the Advance Buffalo pilot program.

How do you join the Advance Buffalo pilot program?

  • Please call (716) 851-2750.
  • We will send you a one-page document to sign, which signifies your willingness to be in the Advance Buffalo pilot program and gives us permission to identify your company on this website.
  • Send us your job openings, if you have not already done so.

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