Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a program at PS 301 Burgard High School that will train students in skills such as auto technology, welding, and machine tool technology. The creation of the advanced manufacturing early college program, part of the Buffalo Billion initiative, works to bridge the gap in workforce needs and align Buffalo's training system with careers in this core industry. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred is a key partner in this initiative and will enhance the curriculum at Burgard, providing associate degrees to students who complete a 13th year.
This exciting, new initiative brings together two of this administrations top priorities: creating a pipeline for students to gain the skills needed to secure employment in the 21st Century job market while transforming and reinvigorating Western New York, Governor Cuomo said. Today represents another step in the States efforts to rebuild Buffalos economy and create a strong foundation for sustained growth to ensure our young people have access to opportunity and jobs for years to come. This announcement is yet another example of the Buffalo Billion investment delivering for the regions economy and continuing the momentum and energy that can be felt in communities across Western New York.
Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy said, This new program will be monumental for Buffalos high school students, giving them the skills they need to secure manufacturing jobs that are increasingly in demand. In Buffalos new economy, the need for skilled manufacturers has never been greater, and thanks to Governor Cuomos vision, the state is giving these inner city students the tools to enter a lucrative professional field and become a vital part of Western New Yorks development.
It is estimated that there will be more than 17,000 vacancies in local advanced manufacturing jobs in Western New York between now and 2020. Currently, more than 80 percent of Burgard High School's students live below the poverty line. With a school graduation rate of only 30%, the overall minority unemployment rate in the City of Buffalo is 19 percent. Through the program, Burgard will use training and education to bridge the gap between those looking for jobs and employers in need of skilled workers.
In partnership with SUNY College of Technology at Alfred, the school will also become a middle/early college school where students attend college courses in CNC Machining, Auto Technology, and Welding. Classes will be taught by Burgard teachers in collaboration with Alfred State and students can obtain an associates degree after completion of the 13th year.
Buffalo School Board President Dr. Barbara Seals Nevergold said, This is a real plan to not only give Burgard High School students a college education but also a lucrative career in the area of advanced manufacturing. By bringing the SUNY Alfred classes to the high school, students are encouraged to make that transition to college level work early, which builds self-esteem and confidence as they move forward. I look forward to hearing more and more Burgard students say, Im going to college because thats how I will manufacture a better future for myself.
Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan said, Alfred State is pleased to be asked to play a key role in developing the new Advanced Manufacturing Early College. This initiative will prepare Burgard students to be qualified for advanced manufacturing careers, which are in high demand in the region. It will change lives.
The program will start July 1 with a freshman academy for incoming freshman to assist with reading and math remediation. A Success Keys program will emphasize self-empowerment for both students and teachers, encouraging that they learn the traits of owning their future and changing the culture of the school.
Burgard currently has career and technical education (CTE) programs in Welding and Fabrication, Automotive Repair Technology and Computer Aided Drafting/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM), but has struggled with graduation rates in general education. It is expected that this program will increase the high school graduation rate, as well as the number of students obtaining associates degrees. The program has no negative impact on Buffalo Public School teacher jobs.
Say Yes Buffalo, a local partnership committed to dramatically increasing high school and college graduation rates for Buffalo public and charter school students, will provide scholarships to students that attend the college full time, in addition to Dream It/Do It, an internship program created to educate the next generation workforce about careers in advanced manufacturing, will provide tours and connections to manufacturers for Burgard students and faculty. The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) and Mayors Office of Youth will provide summer internship and job assistance for some students who choose to work after graduation from high school.
Say Yes Buffalo Executive Director David Rust said, Increasing the number of high school and college graduates who come out of Buffalos public schools is critical if we are to grow the Western New York economy. This new program does exactly that by giving students the opportunity to begin their pursuit of a postsecondary degree when they begin high school in programs that all but ensure a good job will be available to them once they complete their studies. Its a win-win for students and our entire region.
Todd Tranum, President/CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier and Dream It. Do It. Western New York said, The development of a skilled workforce to support manufacturers throughout the region is the core mission of the dream it do it initiative. We are excited to be part of this partnership to align high school students with opportunities to further their technical education and ultimately secure great careers in manufacturing."
Chris Sansone, President of the Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance and Continuous Improvement Manager at Keller Technology Corporation said, Regional manufacturers have been feeling the effects of a disengaged scholastic pipeline for quite some time. As a result, manufacturers in the area have been forced to provide more in depth on the job training for longer periods of time reducing their productivity and effecting their bottom line. These challenges will become more prevalent in the coming five to seven years with the baby boomer workforce preparing for retirement. Introducing advanced manufacturing technology courses to high school students, engaging them in conversation and making them aware of the opportunities and earning potential that exists today is key for the long term sustainability and growth of our manufacturing sector. We applaud the efforts that are underway at Burgard and look forward to building a long term relationship with the program.
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, Im very appreciative of Governor Cuomo for providing the resources to create a unique manufacturing program for our youth at Burgard High School that will give these students the ability to complete their associates degree in 5 years and position them for the many city manufacturing jobs that exist and are being created in the City of Buffalo. Im very pleased I was able to play a role in helping to negotiate this development with the State, Buffalo Public Schools and Alfred State College.
Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, A well paying job, a college degree, unique skills and a future filled with promise and respect.This is what the advanced manufacturing hub at Burgard High School is offering students. I applaud Governor Cuomo for encouraging this collaboration between Burgard, SUNY Alfred State and the advanced manufacturers in Western New York. This Buffalo Billion investment in the inner city can potentially change a neighborhood, starting with the first student who steps up to pursue training that will lead to a fruitful career.
Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen said The advanced manufacturing program at Burgard High School is certainly a strategy that can work to increase graduation and employment rates. The Buffalo Billion, through this unique collaboration with SUNY Alfred State, is providing an opportunity for these at risk students to be better prepared for their future by putting well paying jobs within their reach. I applaud Governor Cuomo for this win-win program that is giving hope to a community by adding skilled technicians to the workforce.
Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi said, This early college program at Burgard High School is an innovative initiative that will help put our young people on career paths that enable them to succeed and stay in Western New York, while addressing workforce gaps in a core industry sector. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership in further expanding our regions strengths in advanced manufacturing, while also increasing Burgards graduation rate and preparing students with work readiness skills that position them to succeed and contribute in the 21st century economy.
Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and Larkin Development Group Managing Partner Howard Zemsky said, The Buffalo Niagara regions under-supply of skilled manufacturing talent is impeding productivity and growth potential in our region. This initiative will train students to fill in-demand jobsparticularly skilled production occupationsand keep our young people, and our companies, in the region. The Buffalo Billion was instrumental in getting this program off the ground and I applaud all of our community partners who assisted in the effort.
Alfred State is a comprehensive college of technology that has two- and four-year programs across the spectrum in advanced manufacturing. This includes drafting CAD, welding, machine tool, electrical construction and maintenance electrician at the associate level that focus in the skilled trades and electrical engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology at the associate and bachelor degree level. Project-based learning is a cornerstone of the Alfred State culture. As a result, Alfred State has a 99 percent employment and transfer rate.