FOR MORE INFORMATION: (716) 436-3229

FOR MORE INFORMATION: (716) 436-3229
FOR MORE INFORMATION: (716) 436-3229
FOR MORE INFORMATION: (716) 436-3229

Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Basics

What is Northland Workforce Training Center?

Northland Workforce Training Center, located in Buffalo, NY, is an industry-driven, public-private partnership between employers, educational institutions, community and faith-based organizations and state and local government focused on closing the skills gap of the local labor pool and creating economic on-ramps to training, co-ops, internships, apprenticeships, and permanent employment for Western New Yorkers seeking high-paying advanced manufacturing and energy careers.



Our mission is to advance the economic well-being of the Western New York region by developing and maintaining a skilled and diverse workforce to meet the needs of the advanced manufacturing and energy sectors while providing opportunities to job seekers with pathways to career advancement and economic sustainability. Northland Workforce Training Center is a 501 (c)(3), not-for-profit corporation.

Where is Northland Workforce Training Center located?

Northland Workforce Training Center is located in Northland Beltline, a 35-acre site on Buffalo’s East Side. The address is 683 Northland Ave., Buffalo, NY 14211.

When will Northland Workforce Training Center open?

You will be able to begin the assessment process and access proficiency training in January 2018. The career coaching, assessment and proficiency training will also begin in January 2018, while some of those services will be conducted at off-site locations within the Buffalo area. All preliminary services will be offered at no cost to students. Advanced manufacturing and energy training classes will start in August/September 2018.

What kind of career opportunities can I pursue after being a student at Northland Workforce Training Center?

Northland Workforce Training Center provides specialized training for advanced manufacturing and energy careers. Training includes courses and programs that may lead to careers in electrical, mechatronics, welding, industrial machinist, CNC machinist, mechanics, lineperson, and advanced manufacturing technician, among others.

Why should I be interested in a career in advanced manufacturing or energy? How much do jobs in these industries pay?

By the year 2020, the demand for advanced manufacturing employment jobs in Western New York is expected to total 20,000 or more. Approximately 30% of these jobs come from the following job categories, shown here with their average starting salaries in Western New York: CNC Precision Machining ($30,000-$40,000 entry level; $48,000 average with experience); Mechatronics ($30,000-$40,000 entry level; $48,000 average with experience); Energy Utility ($36,000-$40,000 entry level; $50,000 average with experience); Machine Tool Technology ($36,000-$48,000 entry level; $60,000 average with experience); Welding Technology ($36,000-$45,000 entry level; $60,000 average with experience); Construction & Maintenance Electrician ($35,000-$45,000 entry level; $60,000 average with experience).

How much does the training cost?

There is no cost to the student for obtaining the skills or high school degree required to enter Northland’s educational programs. The cost for the technical skills training program provided by the SUNY partners is based on financial need and students are expected to complete a financial aid form to identify financial need. It is expected that for many students there will be no cost to attend based on their financial situation. Financial aid advisors at Northland will assist you in applying for financial aid.

What degrees and certifications does Northland Workforce Training Center offer?

Through its SUNY educational partners, Northland offers for-credit, certificate and Associate Degrees programs as core offerings. Northland’s educational partners provide two-year Associate Degree programs as well as shorter one-semester and two-semester certificate programs.

Do I have to be enrolled in a program to take classes at Northland Workforce Training Center?

Yes. Northland classes and services are available to students in the part-time or full-time program as well as the proficiency skills building programming.

What additional services does Northland Workforce Training Center offer?

Northland offers a wide array of support services for students/trainees. These include, but are not limited to: 



Soft Skills/Job Readiness/Employability Skills


Enhancing skills in areas such as: communication, conflict resolution, leadership development, performance management, customer service, critical thinking, teamwork, timeliness, attendance, employee culture, and professionalism. Training is provided at no cost to the students/trainees and is not for-credit. This training is most often provided to students before beginning technical training.



Career Navigation


Career coaching will focus on providing students/potential students with information and guidance about potential occupations, educational pathways, job attributes (e.g. indoor, outdoor, clean environment, etc.), and career opportunities. Career coaching includes career exploration and career assessment. Career navigation includes identifying short and long-term educational and employment goals. Additionally, placement specialists will provide placement services to help students, improve job interview skills, build résumés and cover letters, and connect to career opportunities.

Housing and Medical/Dental Assistance


Career coaching services are available to coordinate housing support and medical/dental assistance. We can connect students in need of these services to partners which provide these services.



Transportation Assistance


Northland Workforce Training Center program participants may receive free monthly bus passes for the duration of their participation in the program, based on financial need. See your career coach for more information.

Career Coaching and Financial Aid


Northland Career Coaches provide academic advice to trainees to understand and choose from the different educational and training programs/courses to align with career/life goals. Career Coaches also help students navigate the financial aid process to access financial aid for those in need.

Financial Empowerment

With a local bank partner, Northland Workforce Training Center intends to offer financial empowerment educational services and credit counseling/information to full-time students, part-time trainees, and new workers to learn how to effectively manage earnings, credit, debts, assets and savings. Services will include linking individuals to banking services, and long- and short-term financial planning, including home ownership.

Career Coaching & Supportive Services


All students are assigned a Career Coach. The Career Coach conducts a needs assessment and skill determination assessment prior to enrollment in the advanced manufacturing or energy career training program. Career Coaches work with students to create an individual plan for each student, and remain connected to the student after he or she transitions to employment for three years after being hired full-time.

Post-Placement Retention Services


After a student has completed his or her educational program and been hired, the Career Coach conducts monthly follow-up meetings with the new employee for the first year of employment. In the second year, the Career Coach conducts quarterly follow-up meetings with the student to monitor job retention and assess job satisfaction/performance. The Northland Workforce Training Center graduate is eligible to receive career coaching and referral services for up to three years after being hired full-time. In addition, program graduates are encouraged to attend career advancement classes/training at Northland. These classes are designed to educate and assist individuals who are currently employed on the topics of further career planning and advancement.

When do classes start?

Advanced manufacturing and energy training classes start in August/September 2018. You will be able to begin meeting with NWTC Career Coaches in January 2018. You can begin receiving proficiency building programming (e.g., high school equivalency, reading/math proficiency) and soft skills training in January 2018.

What are Northland Workforce Training Center’s hours?

The hours of operation haven’t been established yet, but we anticipate there will be classes in both day and evening as well as weekends, based on student demand.

How do I get to Northland Workforce Training Center?

Northland is located on Buffalo’s East Side at 683 Northland Ave. and is within walking distance for many. It is also accessible by public transportation. Free parking is available.

Is Northland Workforce Training Center accessible for those with disabilities?

Yes.

Who should I contact with additional questions?

Call 716.436.3229 to discuss any further questions you have about Northland Workforce Training Center.

ENROLLMENT

Who can participate as a student? What is needed to participate? Is there an age cutoff for those who can participate?

All individuals 18 years or older who have completed high school or have a high school equivalency degree and can pass the TABE (Test for Basic Adult Education) in reading and math at the 10th grade level or higher may apply. For those who can demonstrate financial need, there is no cost for courses at Northland. For students who need to obtain a high school equivalency degree or additional reading and math proficiency, Northland and its partners can provide you with those skills for free. There is no age cut-off. Anyone interested in these careers should speak to a career coach or attend an informational session for more information.

We especially encourage youth of color (18-24), women, recent high school graduates, unemployed workers, underemployed workers, veterans, refugees, recent immigrants, those with disabilities, formerly incarcerated individuals, and TANF students interested in advanced manufacturing and energy careers to apply.


If I do not have a high school diploma or high school equivalency degree and/or I have not passed the TABE (Test for Basic Adult Education) reading and math test at 10th grade level, what Northland Workforce Training Center programming can I participate in?


While taking math and reading proficiency classes and while enrolled in a high school equivalency degree program with one of our partners, students will also participate in work readiness skills training, computer training, and other training required before completion of technical training courses at Northland.

What if I realize that I am not interested in pursuing an advanced manufacturing or energy career?

If at any point, a prospective or current student decides that he or she would rather pursue a career outside of the advanced manufacturing or energy industries, the career coach will refer him or her to the appropriate educational/community partner for career exploration in an alternative industry of choice.

Do I have to be enrolled full-time in a program to access services at Northland Workforce Training Center?

No. You may participate in Northland training courses on a part-time or full-time basis. Services are available to people who are in the part-time or full-time program as well as the proficiency skills building programming.

How do I enroll? Is there an application cycle? What is required and when is the deadline?

An application is required, along with a financial aid application. Your Northland Career Coach can assist you with both. Please meet with a Career Coach as soon as possible.

COURSES

What kinds of courses are held at Northland Workforce Training Center?

Training includes courses/programs that may lead to careers in electrical, mechatronics, welding, industrial machinist, mechanics, lineperson, or advanced manufacturing technician, among others. All technical skills courses are taught by faculty from SUNY Alfred State College and SUNY Erie Community College.

What kind of career training is offered at Northland Workforce Training Center?

All Northland trainees are assigned a Career Coach who guides them to establish their career goals, identify potential barriers to success, and develop a pathway to achievement. Students may choose to take a Northland career exploration course to gain introductory exposure to advanced manufacturing and energy careers that are in high demand in the WNY region.

How many students are in each class?

There are roughly 20 students in each class.

What kind of learning happens at Northland Workforce Training Center?

Northland utilizes diverse learning models, ranging from online learning paired with labs, to proven and tested curricula. We also emphasize contextualized learning in both curricular and extra-curricular experiences (e.g., project competitions, internships, apprenticeships, etc.). We are proud to collaborate with SUNY Alfred State College and SUNY Erie Community College, among others.

Does Northland Workforce Training Center have English classes for refugees and recent immigrants?

All Northland classes are conducted in English. English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are offered by our partners at no cost to participants. Your Northland Career Coach will refer you to the right partner if you require these services.

WORK EXPERIENCE

What kinds of work experiences can you participate in at Northland Workforce Training Center?

Overview

Northland plans to incorporate internships/apprenticeships, co-ops, and part-time work during the training process and at the end of the training process. These experiences provide trainees with “real world” opportunities to apply skills learned in technical training classes and an opportunity to explore careers in advanced manufacturing and energy before choosing a career pathway. Internships/apprenticeships and co-ops also provide employers with an opportunity to observe a potential job candidate’s performance before making a hiring decision and give trainees the opportunity to experience what it’s like to work for a potential employer. Students in the co-op program will not participate in summer internships because the co-op program is one in which students are hired full-time while they are also gaining an Associate Degree and work experience.

Internships/Apprenticeships

There are two types of internships available to students: the summer internship, and internship upon completion of technical training. All students will be placed in a 12-week internship after they complete their Northland program (whether that be a semester-long or year-long certificate program or a two-year Associate Degree). If participating in a year-long program, students may have the option to participate in a summer internship. Summer and post-completion internships are expected to last 10 to 12 weeks. All Northland internships are paid.

Co-ops

Some students may participate in the Northland co-op program. In this program, students will work a few days a week (8 hours/day) for an advanced manufacturing or energy employer and attend classes at Northland a few days a week (8 hours/day) working towards a degree. Co-op participants will be paid by for their work. Employers and co-op participants enter the program with the goal of achieving full-time employment after graduation from Northland and the co-op program.

Part-time Work

Some students may work for advanced manufacturing or energy employers part-time while taking courses at Northland. The program model is yet to be established, but we envision students working part-time for employers who need a few hours of assistance per week. Part-time work program participants would gain work experience and exposure to the work place and work culture and would be paid for their work by the employer. Employers would receive needed assistance on small projects and build relationships with prospective interns and/or prospective employees.

What happens after I graduate from a Northland Workforce Training Center program?

Northland program graduates receive career coaching support for up to three years after being hired full-time to ensure they are on a long-term track for advancement and family-sustaining wages. Northland program graduates are also encouraged to attend career advancement classes/training. These classes are designed to educate and assist individuals who are currently employed with career planning and advancement.

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