This podcast highlights the many employment and training opportunities that exist in the Buffalo, NY region and how both job seekers and employers can tap into the many available local resources. 

Covid-19 has dramatically impacted the workforce landscape in Erie County. Listeners will have an opportunity to hear and learn directly from employers and training professionals how to tap into today’s job market. They will also gain a better understanding of what drives our local economy and what we, as a community, can look forward to in the future. Local and national workforce professionals will also be featured. Learn where industry is hiring and how to access training in a demand occupation. Employers will learn how to tap into the many available workforce training programs and resources geared to growing a business.


Episode 19: Assembly House 51

Join us for a conversation with Assembly House 51.  ASSEMBLY HOUSE 150 is an artist-led nonprofit art, design and construction incubator and experiential learning center in Buffalo, NY.  Founded and directed by Dennis Maher—a renowned artist and professor of architecture at University at Buffalo—ASSEMBLY HOUSE 150 creates inspiring, wondrous environments for all to experience the art of building.

ASSEMBLY HOUSE 150 brings together tradespeople, artists, designers, architects, artisans, planners, preservationists, students, apprentices and others to build awareness of the built environment, teach skills in design and construction, work together on impactful community projects and empower people through creative action.  Learn about their various programs and opportunities for training, along with the impact they make in the community. 

Episode 18: Workforce Buffalo On-the-job Training Opportunities

Learn about On-the-Job training opportunities, best practices and requirements that can benefit your organization.  Listen to see how you can take advantage of this amazing program to help cover the cost of training new employees and how Workforce Buffalo can support you throughout the on-boarding process and support the employee. This conversation led by Business Services Manager Bukola Mallia should not be missed!

Episode 17: The Impact of the Buffalo Film Industry

It was a privilege to have Buffalo Niagara Film Commissioner Tim Clark on this episode to discuss the booming film industry in WNY.  The surge of the industry creates and enormous economic and workforce impact in the region. Learn how the community has embraced this growth and the workforce opportunities it creates.

Episode 16: Training Opportunities and Career Pathways in the Automotive Industry

This episode features a conversation with Talent Acquisition Specialists Sherri Callahan and Scott Jacobs from West Herr Automotive Group as they discuss the structure of their recruitment and training activities. Discover the various entry-level opportunities and career paths within the automotive industry, as well as the skills needed to be successful. Sherri and Scott reveal the most in-demand positions and share details of their partnership with ECC designed to develop a pipeline of trained automotive technicians.

Episode 15: Preparing Low-Income and Nontraditional Students for Higher Education and a Career 

Dr. Julius Greg Adams, the Executive Director of the University of Buffalo's Educational Opportunity Center joins the program to discuss the work that his organization does to prepare low income and nontraditional students for higher education and careers. Discover programs available to help participants obtain diplomas and career certifications quickly and how to obtain automatic enrollment at any SUNY community college. Dr. Adams also provides details about the Center’s partnership with Google and the Google Professional IT Certification. 

Episode 14: Opportunities for Women In the Construction Industry

This episode features an interview with Jillian Penkin, President of the Buffalo Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction, and an account executive with RD Weis, LLC. Jillian shares the story of her own career path and discusses the variety of jobs available in the construction industry. She also reveals the increasing need for skilled workers and debunks some common myths about women working in the construction industry.

Episode 13: The Business Council of New York State- Insights From Their Business Workforce Survey

Amber Rangel Mooney, Director of Workforce Development for The Business Council of New York State, joins the program to discuss her career journey and insights from the Council’s recent business workforce survey. Discover the themes that emerged from the survey, as well as the importance of creating healthy and flexible work environments. Amber reveals some of the barriers preventing people from returning to work, some of the skills that employers value most, and why we need to focus on long-term talent development.

Episode 12: M&T Bank’s Buffalo Tech Hub - Creating Jobs, Attracting Talent and Fostering Collaboration.

In this episode, you’ll learn about M&T Bank’s Buffalo Tech Hub, which was designed to create over 1,000 jobs, accelerate startup growth and attract talent to the region. Discover how the Tech Hub aligns with M&T’s core values, engages with community partners and what the curriculum will look like. Technology skills are becoming rapidly more necessary and beneficial for the careers of tomorrow, and the Tech Hub looks to help the community increase access for those who need it.

Episode 11: Catholic Charities of Buffalo- Eradicating Poverty Through Education and Jobs 

Jeffrey Conrad, Director of Workforce Development and Education at Catholic Charities of Buffalo, joins the program to discuss the various populations that his organization serves, and how they help returning citizens connect to meaningful employment. Discover the various services offered by Catholic Charities, including educational assistance, and how they help people overcome barriers to employment.

Episode 10 - Developing Local Workforce Talent: Challenges and Opportunities headed to a Post-Pandemic Economy 

Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Executive, joins the program to share his background and the important role that government plays in people’s lives. Discover some of the challenges around connecting talent to available jobs, and some of the questions that still need to be answered heading into a post-pandemic world. Discover some lessons learned during the pandemic and a different perspective on developing a career.

Episode 09 - An Overview of Workforce Buffalo: Leading the Charge

Tune in as Geoff Syzmanski, Executive Director, and David Kaczor, Assistant Executive Director for the Buffalo & Erie County Workforce Investment Board, join host Spencer Murray to provide some history and insight into the many services offered by Workforce Buffalo. Discover the efforts that are underway to address workforce challenges in the region, and the innovation that is happening as the pandemic begins to lift. 

Episode 08: The Construction Exchange of Buffalo & WNY: Enhancing Growth and Prosperity

Nathan McConnell, Director of Workforce Development & Education at The Construction Exchange of Buffalo & WNY, joins the program to debunk some of the negative stereotypes about working in the construction trades and the importance of creating a local talent pipeline. Nathan also provides details about the various ways that his organization supports the construction industry and reveals details about an app that functions as a job board for the local Buffalo/Western New York construction industry.

Episode 07: Opportunities in the Carpentry Trade

Artist, educator and journeyman carpenter Jomo Akono, joins the program to discuss what led him to start a career in the carpentry trade, and provides details about the carpenter’s apprenticeship program. Discover the financial and work-life benefits of becoming a carpenter and why carpentry is an excellent career choice for women as well as men. You’ll learn about the career trajectory for carpenters and how to reach out for more information.

Episode 06: The Buffalo Employment Training Center - Connecting Job Seekers to In-Demand Careers

Demone Smith, Executive Director of the Buffalo Employment Training Center, joins the program to discuss the services that the Center provides. Discover how to support young people who may not be a good fit for traditional education, and how to connect individuals in in-demand jobs. You’ll hear examples of well-paying careers that don’t require a 4-year degree, and how to use technology to communicate and work with job seekers.

Episode 05: Business Services Division: Adapting and Innovating for a Rapidly Changing Economy 

Join host Spencer Murray as he sits down for a conversation with Jessica Corrigan, Business Services Manager for Workforce Buffalo. Jessica reveals the variety of ways in which the Business Services Division can support area businesses and how they have adapted and innovated to meet employers’ needs

Episode 04: SUNY Erie Career Centers

In this episode host Spencer Murray is joined by Denise Raymond-DiBlasi, Dean of Employment & Training Services at the SUNY Erie Career Centers. Discover the services available at the SUNY Erie Career Centers and how to access services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Denise also offers advice and resources for job seekers who may be facing challenges or feel stuck in their job search.

Episode 03: Tech Innovation in Buffalo

In this episode, host Spencer Murray is joined by Sam Marrazzo, Chief Information Officer at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Sam discusses how he helps to foster innovation and growth, and the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on his work. Discover the growing importance of technology for all businesses and what job seekers need to break into the IT field in Buffalo.

Episode 02: The Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG)- Training for High-Demand Healthcare Occupations

In this episode, host Spencer Murray is joined by Mark Cosgrove, Senior Planner and Project Director for the HPOG program, and Liz Rivera, Marketing and Recruitment Specialist for the HPOG program. Discover the eligibility requirements for the grant, hear success stories, and discover the range of support that is available for participants. 

Episode 01: Welcome to Workforce Buffalo Career Connections

In this introductory episode, you'll hear from host and Buffalo and Erie County WIB member Spencer Murray as he discusses the "who, what, where, when, and why" of the podcast. Spencer shares a bit about his background and how he to connect with the workforce system and reveals some of the guests you can expect to hear from in upcoming episodes!