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Buffalo is in the initial phases of an economic resurgence, and the Masiello administration has taken steps to ensure that the opportunity to benefit from this growth is available to all residents.

The mayor's plan to ensure that our public projects work force is as diverse as possible includes awarding subcontracts to women- and minority-owned businesses, job training and outreach programs.

The city's vision for the role of inner-city business owners is long term in nature and includes provisions that will allow for growth within the African-American and Hispanic business community.

Several current projects within the minority community demonstrate that Buffalo is committed to being inclusive. The level of participation ranges from subcontract awards of $600,000 to $4 million.

In the Kenfield-Langfield project, minority- and women-owned business participation accounts for 60 percent of the total project.

The Frederick Douglas Project has awarded subcontracts to minority businesses in the amount of $2.5 million and has helped 25 tenants secure employment with contractors working on this project.

The William Gator Incubator Project has minority subcontract awards totaling $470,000, accounting for 27 percent of subcontracts awarded. The 1201 Broadway Project has 28 percent minority-owned business participation, while the William Gator Parkway Phase II Project has 25 percent.

These three projects account for more than $2 million worth of business that has gone directly into minority communities.

The $6.5 million Youth Opportunities Program targets young people in our federal enterprise communities and affords them the opportunity to enroll in training programs that will give them sustainable job skills.

The mayor is also working with our federal, state and regional partners so that more businesses have access to technology and the Internet, thereby making them more competitive.

The participation of our community's African-American and Hispanic leaders is also needed to ensure that the business owners they represent are aware of every opportunity for growth.

Only by working together can we take the necessary steps that will give all of our residents the ability to move forward and make an even greater impact on the Buffalo Niagara region.

Commissioner, Department of Community Services

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