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Buffalo Niagara Partnership selected for national economic development program

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is one of seven regional site teams chosen Thursday to participate in the “Communities that Work Partnership” – a national, 15-month project to find strategies and best practices to boost workforce development and accelerate regional economic development.

The “Communities that Work Partnership” is a joint project of the Workforce Strategies Initiative of the Aspen Institute and the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

A regional team will focus on talent development strategies for the Buffalo Niagara region with support from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo during a 15-month “intensive learning exchange.” The teams will receive assistance from national experts in economic, workforce and talent development. ASPEN WSI and Future Works Consulting will facilitate in-person and virtual learning exchanges.

Improving public policies, training and education programs, and employer practices are among the topics groups nationwide will tackle.

Laura Smith, vice president, economic development at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, will lead the regional site team. It will also include Maria Whyte, commissioner of the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, and Dennis Elsenbeck, regional director at National Grid.