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Grants now available to support workforce training programs

Applications are now available for nonprofits in Western New York to receive at least $250,000 each from a new Buffalo Billion II-funded state initiative to promote and invest in innovative workforce training for underserved populations.

Empire State Development Corp. on Tuesday announced that nonprofits in Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Allegany counties can submit requests for funding from the $10 million Workforce Development Challenge, designed to ensure that the region has a pipeline of job seekers with the necessary skills to respond to industry demands.

The program will increase the ability of community-based trainers with proven track records in job placement and retention to help more unemployed and underemployed workers – or even those who just want to advance their careers. It will support initiatives aimed particularly at the region's target sectors of advanced manufacturing, health and life sciences, tourism, energy and agriculture, while funding "best practices" models that emphasize partnership between businesses and educators.

The grants will be administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Applications are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, May 18.

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