Facility in Erie County Will Train Hundreds of Laborers and Promote Diversity in the Trades Workforce
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of an expanded, state-of-the-art workforce training facility in Erie County to support a growing demand for skilled workers in Western New York. The Finishing Trades Institute of Western & Central New York facility is expected to train a total of 800 workers this year, as well as generate a total of 120 apprentice jobs annually.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony today with the Finishing Trades Institute of Western & Central New York and members of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council to officially open the expanded Cheektowaga facility.
“Upstate New York is in the midst of an economic revitalization, and preparing the workforce to meet the demands of a changing economy is essential to continuing this progress,” Governor Cuomo said. “The expanded Finishing Trades Institute in Cheektowaga will build on the organization’s success to strengthen and diversify job opportunities for New Yorkers for years to come.”
“The Finishing Trades Institute of Western & Central New York will increase the level of building trades training for skilled jobs in our region’s growing economy,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “With this important investment in local workers, today’s ribbon cutting is another example of the exceptional work that Governor Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative is spurring.”
The new job training space increases the Finishing Trades Institute’s existing capacity in Cheektowaga, which serves members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council #4. The new facilities include classroom space, electrical fixtures, machinery and equipment to support job training and apprenticeships in priority fields. Trainees in the program become certified or skilled in disciplines such as abrasive and water blasting, drywall finishing, painting and decorating, glazing and coating applications. The training facility was designated a Western New York REDC priority project and awarded $500,000 in Round 2 of Regional Council initiative.
“We are seeing a revitalization in Western New York and we are proud to be part of this new economic engine to put Western New Yorkers back to work,” said Mark Stevens, Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer of Painters District Council #4. “On behalf of the nearly 2000 members of Painters District Council #4, I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and the entire Regional Economic Development Council for having the confidence and belief that the Finishing Trades Institute of Western & Central New York is a viable place to not only provide opportunity and hope for those men and women looking for a chance to a provide a good living for themselves and their family, but it’s also the place where the most highly skilled and safest workforce will come from in order to meet today's growing industries.”
Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi said, “Finishing Trades Institute of Western & Central New York is instrumental in building sustainable career paths, which is a key strategy for advancing our region’s economy. This new state-of-the-art training facility is a critical component of our workforce development strategy as it will provide workers with the opportunity to develop, upgrade and hone their skills in the burgeoning finishing trades sector.”
Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Howard Zemsky said, “The expansion of the Finishing Trades Institute of Western & Central New York’s training space will offer valuable instruction and apprenticeships in the skilled trades. Providing good jobs for a skilled workforce has been a key sector strategy for our council and this project meets that goal by helping to fill the demand for capable contractors in the region.”
Senator Tim Kennedy said, “The state-of-the-art Finishing Trades Institute is a welcome addition to the Western New York community. Through the apprenticeship and training of hundreds of hard working people, we are building a better core workforce, recognizing the growing regional need for skilled employees and ultimately creating good-paying jobs. I applaud the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council for stepping up to support this project and investing in the future of our local workforce and business community.”
Assemblywoman Angela Wozniak said, “The skilled members of our building trades are vital to Western New York’s advancement and today’s ribbon cutting is just another example of the good work Governor Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative is driving. Congratulations to the Finishing Trades Institute of Western & Central New York on this milestone.”
About the Finishing Trades Institute of Western & Central New York
The Finishing Trades Institute is the training arm of Painters District Council #4, which represents 1,800 members and 140-plus contractors in 33 counties throughout Western, Central and Northern New York. The Institute provides occupational safety and health administration approved health and safety, four New York State Department of Labor apprentice programs, and journeyman upgrading and retraining. As the Finishing Trades Institute workforce gets older and retires, it replaces these workers through its apprentice program.
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