Mark Poloncarz signed an amendment to the Erie County Apprenticeship Law on May 18 to ensure apprenticeships fulfill their responsibility for trade workers in WNY.
Current apprentices working on the new Northland Workforce Training Center on Buffalo's East Side say their positions gave them the careers they were looking for.
"I wanted a career, I didn't want just a job," said Nicole Lamson, a third-year carpenter apprentice. "I wanted something that I was going to go to every day, get good at, and be able to do the rest of my life."
Buffalo offers a pre-apprentice program, which jumps graduates to the front of the waiting list for an apprenticeship. Brandon Corchado got his apprenticeship with Northeast Carpenters Union 276 from the program, which he says changed his life.
"I got something that's going to stick with me forever," Corchado said. "A trade that I can take from here and go on with, and if I want to start my own business I can do that off something Northeast has taught me."
Those in charge of apprenticeships say the positions keep a steady flow of trade skill workers as older workers retire by giving young workers proper training for their careers.
If you're interested in looking into apprenticeships in New York, visit the Department of Labor's apprenticeship opportunities page.