Release Date: February 4, 2010
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo today announced creation of a new advisory council that will help the university and its community partners prepare local residents for jobs created by implementation of the UB 2020 plan to grow the university and increase its regional economic impact.
The UB 2020 Opportunities Advisory Council will be chaired by local community leader June Hoeflich, selected for the position by UB President John B. Simpson because of her strong ties to UB, health care and business communities.
The advisory council will help UB's new Office of Economic Engagement identify and create ways to ensure that local residents are equipped with skills matched to current and future jobs created through UB 2020 initiatives and the region's emerging job market. The council also will support initiatives to increase the number of minority- and women-owned enterprises doing business with UB.
As one of its first initiatives, the council will work with existing educational training programs and organizations to prepare local residents for entry- and mid-level jobs to be available upon completion of UB's Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) and Biosciences Incubator on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The facilities will occupy the top floors of the joint UB-Kaleida clinical care and research building under construction at Goodrich and Ellicott streets in downtown Buffalo.
Creation of the advisory council and Hoeflich's leadership of it were announced at a news conference held in the UB Gateway Complex (the former M. Wile Building) in downtown Buffalo, where the UB Office of Economic Engagement is located. Created in the fall of 2009 to help facilitate the economic impact of UB 2020 and serve as UB's gateway to the business community, the Office of Economic Engagement is led by Marsha Henderson, UB vice president for external affairs.
Under Hoeflich's direction, the UB 2020 Opportunities Advisory Council will help guide the university as it collaborates with educational partners to develop a deep pool of talent for jobs to be
created as UB, under the UB 2020 plan, moves its Academic Health Center to downtown Buffalo and Western New York's health care and biotechnology industries grow.
"Over the next decade, we anticipate creation of a range of jobs -- from entry-level administrative, technician and research-assistant positions to skilled administrators and scientists," Simpson said. "Preparing a workforce now for new positions to become available at UB and throughout the region will improve the job prospects of many people in our community, while laying the groundwork for a new local economy based on knowledge and innovation."
Recently retired as president and chief executive officer of Sheehan Memorial Hospital and a former senior vice president at HSBC, Hoeflich also is a member of the UB Council, the university's primary advisory board, appointed by the New York State governor. As chair of the UB 2020 Opportunities Advisory Council, Hoeflich will provide leadership to the nine-person council of external community members and UB faculty and administration. To be named later, additional advisory council members will represent a diverse cross section of Western New York.
"With the anticipated economic impact and spin-off benefits of the UB 2020 plan, our community is presented with a tremendous opportunity to train a diverse workforce to support and benefit from the continued emergence of our region's health care and biotech industries," Hoeflich said. "This council will take a broad look at what job opportunities are on the horizon, what skills and training are needed and how local residents can access job-development programs in preparation for current and anticipated opportunities.
"We must plan now to ensure that these job opportunities are available to all segments of our community."
UB's Henderson said the university anticipates creation of approximately 275 new UB jobs to be filled following the opening of the UB-Kaleida building in 2011. More than 120 jobs will be entry-level administrative and technical support jobs. A first task of the advisory council is to assist UB in ensuring that local residents have access to skills training and education programs needed to obtain and succeed in these jobs, Henderson said.
"From our success in providing access to these jobs and filling them with skilled employees, UB will create pathways and open doors to hundreds of other jobs as the university expands and grows, particularly in downtown Buffalo," she added.
"I want to emphasize that UB isn't alone in developing jobs or job development programs in our community. We join Erie Community College, Niagara County Community College, Buffalo State, iSciWNY and UB's own Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) in offering education and training aimed at meeting the needs of Buffalo's emerging life sciences industry."
Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples praised the formation of the new advisory council, calling it a much needed step toward increasing job opportunities available to Buffalo residents.
"As UB and the downtown medical campus expand, we must ensure that this growth improves quality of life and job opportunities for all segments of our community," Peoples said. "We must also raise awareness among community residents that these jobs will be accessible to them, and they should take advantage of new and existing education and training programs in our community."
Sherryl Weems, EOC director and UB associate vice president for continuing and professional studies, said the EOC and UB's continuing education arm, Millard Fillmore College, currently offer a number of job pathway programs. These programs provide area residents with a range of vocational skills -- in pharmacy, nursing, computing, lab sciences, administrative support, medical care and human resources, for example -- designed to meet the needs of Western New York's health care, technology and green industry sectors.
"Working with the UB 2020 Opportunities Advisory Council and our educational partners in the community, we will develop new pathway programs targeted to UB's anticipated job needs, particularly those created by UB's growth on the medical campus," Weems said. "And we will continue to offer and create job-development programs to meet the needs of the region's other growing businesses and organizations."
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.