Niagara Falls chosen for Goodwill jobs program

Jan. 22—Goodwill of Western New York was recently awarded one of only 21 national Build Back Better Regional Challenge awards to expand its Goodskills Career Builder (Goodskills) initiative into Niagara Falls with sessions beginning in February at the Orleans-Niagara Workforce Training Center.

In collaboration with local employers and trainers, Goodskills Career Builder prepares workers for careers in Advanced Manufacturing through four-weeks of training provided free of charge to residents of Niagara and Erie counties The combination of classroom and hands-on experience has 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.

Designed in partnership with the University at Buffalo Regional Institute (UBRI) and launched in August 2021 as a pilot project for Erie County, Goodskills graduated 104 participants in the first year with 80% of graduates successfully placed in jobs with career advancement opportunities. Graduates have been placed at a number of high profile companies including Tesla, PCB Piezotronics and Eastman Machine. Based on the most recent research released by UBRI, the benefits of transitioning from unemployment or underemployment to a Goodskills Career Builder job results in a wage increase of almost $500,000 over a 20-year career while increasing economic impact in the region by more than $3 million.

Goodskills Career Builder is open to any adult over 18 years old with a high school diploma or equivalent residing in Niagara or Erie counties. There is currently no cost associated with participating, and graduates will receive $500 for work completed during the hands-on portion of the training. The sessions will be held at the Orleans-Niagara Workforce Training Center at 606 6th St. in Niagara Falls.

Potential candidates for Goodskills and potential employer partners can learn more by visiting Goodskillswny.org or by calling an Outreach Liaison at 716-710-7097.