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Bank on Buffalo donates $100,000 to Northland training center

Manufacturers are essential customers for Bank on Buffalo.

And those manufacturers say one issue worries them the most.

It's not making their next sale, or even securing financing, said Martin Griffith, Bank on Buffalo's president.

"What really, really keeps them up staring at the ceiling at night is the lack of skilled labor to supply that demand," he said.

To help address that talent shortage, Bank on Buffalo is donating $100,000 to the Northland Workforce Training Center. The bank's commitment, spread across five years, will be used for tuition assistance, funding operational needs and sponsoring the center's first-ever fundraising event on Nov. 7.

The bank will also provide financial literacy sessions for Northland students, and it will work with students who may had problems with checking accounts in the past, as they start earning paychecks from employers, Griffith said.

"Believe me, this is just an initial commitment here," Griffith said Friday. "We love the program, and we're going to have a growing relationship."

Martin T. Griffith, president of Bank on Buffalo. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Stephen Tucker, president and CEO of the Northland Workforce Training Center, said as a nonprofit, the center relies on contributions. He said the financial literacy training and access to traditional banking is also critical for the students.

The center is preparing for its third class, and by spring 2020, expects to have at least 320 students undergoing training at the complex. The program's electrical, welding and mechatronics programs are generating the most demand from students, Tucker said.

"I think we're off to a good start," he said.

Bank on Buffalo, a division of Pennsylvania-based CNB Financial Corp., has grown to about $450 million in deposits, Griffith said.

"We've now reached a scale where we can start giving back," he said.

The bank plans to open a branch in Niagara Falls in late November that will replace its temporary branch in Wheatfield. Bank on Buffalo also has its sights on opening an additional branch in Amherst.

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