BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Inside the Northland Workforce Training Center in Buffalo, graduating seniors have a week left before taking the skills they learned in class and applying them on the job.
“I’m hoping for a great job and thankful to be anywhere anyone is hiring,” said graduating senior Dominik Patton. “I know I’m a hard worker and am willing to learn.”
For seniors like Patton, the hands-on training from Northland has been a game changer.
“My goal is to be a master electrician and general contractor,” he said.
On Thursday, local potential employers like Tesla, Viridi Parente, Materion, The New York Power Authority and others had the opportunity to meet students in-person, and see their work up-close.
“It’s important that we’re connecting candidates with career opportunities,” said Northland President and CEO Stephen Tucker.
Manufacturing and energy jobs were hit hard during the pandemic but are on the rebound. The U.S. Bureau of Labor reports a 4% increase in these jobs from December 2020-February of 2021. These local companies say they want to hire local talent.
“There will be more jobs in the green energy sector, not just installation but manufacturing,” said Dennis Elsenbeck, President of Viridi Parente.
The company is located just six blocks from the Northland Workforce Training Center and says it wants to hire local talent for its high-paying, clean energy jobs.
“We need that workforce development team to develop the type of pipeline so we can grow our business to meet New York State goals and to compete globally,” he said.
Elsenbeck says energy efficiency jobs pay 7-9.5% higher than HVAC or construction jobs.
“All of these jobs skills are required for tomorrow’s job,” he said.
This will be the second graduating class from the Northland Workforce Training Center, since it opened in 2018.