BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Economic Opportunity Panel (EOP),
appointed by the University at Buffalo and St. John Baptist Fruit
Belt Community Development Corp. to assess how the opportunities
created by the sale of the McCarley Gardens housing complex could
be more accessible to the residents of McCarley Gardens and the
city’s Fruit Belt, released its report today.
Last week, the panel presented its report to UB President Satish
K. Tripathi and Minister Michael Chapman, consultant/CEO, St. John
Baptist Fruit Belt Community Development Corp. A copy of the
report is available here (http://tinyurl.com/UB-EOP-Report
Created in 2011 as a contingency of the future sale of the
McCarley Gardens housing project to UB, the EOP, in preparing its
report, met with nearly 70 community and business leaders over the
past year and a half. More broadly, the panel considered how
UB’s growing presence on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
(BNMC), and the growth of the BNMC itself, could benefit
An internal working group of UB and the church, the EOP
consisted of six members with expertise in business services and
procurement, job training and workforce development, minority
hiring and business ventures, and leadership development.
While acknowledging that UB already meets or exceeds
state-mandated targets for minority and women employment and
business participation on all of its downtown Buffalo construction
projects, the EOP report identified six ways the university could
do more to “make economic opportunities more accessible to
those in our community who have had too few such
The panel’s recommendations build upon the success of
projects and initiatives already underway at UB to increase
community access to jobs and business opportunities created by
UB’s expansion in downtown Buffalo.
The panel recommended that UB:
Illuminate paths to good permanent jobs at the university by
strengthening connections between residents and systems of
education, job training, recruitment and placement that already
minority- and women-owned firms – especially those based in
the immediate neighborhood – form, grow and develop their
businesses by securing business opportunities with UB for a wide
range of routinely purchased goods and services, and other
residents of McCarley Gardens and adjacent communities in planning
for UB’s downtown expansion, especially to protect and
enhance the values of their properties and neighborhood as UB
continues to invest.
two-way communication between the university and the community that
will be timely, transparent, participatory and operating at
responsibility and create accountability for ongoing implementation
of these recommendations to (1) a member of UB’s senior
leadership and (2) to the UB 2020 Opportunities Advisory Council
(OAC) or another appropriate entity, with a charge to facilitate
the role of UB and its medical campus partners in promoting
economic development in the community.
Facilitate collaborations in the implementation of these
recommendations with UB partner institutions Kaleida Health and
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, as well as Buffalo Niagara Medical
Tripathi and Chapman thanked the EOP for its work and said that
steps will be taken to implement the panel’s recommendations.
“The EOP’s report marks the beginning of a process of
community engagement, not the end,” Tripathi said.
“The university very much appreciates the panel’s
efforts on behalf of UB, the church and the community.”
“We give thanks to God for this Biblically based social
justice model,” Chapman said. “The EOP has done
an excellent job and we congratulate and thank them for their
service on the panel and for representation of St John Baptist
Church and its affiliate corporations and community at
Chapman continued, “Our project is a national model;
it’s the most comprehensive collaborative economic urban
workforce development model. It is our responsibility to turn
the panel research into practical application. We expect to create
employment opportunities and minority participation through SJBC
Corporation and SJB Business Corporation for various positions in
construction, automotive, welding, robotics, security, as well as
administrative and health services.
“St John and its affiliate corporations have potentially
$60 million in projects slated over the next seven years, which
will provide training and employment opportunities to community
residents in addition to what the University at Buffalo
Tripathi said UB will take immediate steps to implement the EOP
recommendations. Specifically, the university will:
a “jobs portal” in UB’s Downtown Gateway building
on Goodell Street, where community members can learn about and
apply for UB jobs. The university will work with BNMC partner
institutions to expand this resource to include job opportunities
at other BNMC institutions.
with the BNMC to develop and provide career workshops, education
and training opportunities for residents. These programs will
be tied to new and existing programs within UB’s Economic
Opportunity Center, local agencies and area colleges to prepare
residents for employment.
· Hire a
director of supplier diversity and hold supplier workshops
describing and clarifying ways local minority- and women-owned
companies can do business with the university.
with BNMC partners to promote the use of MWBE (minority- and
women-owned business enterprise) vendors in new and existing
and staff a UB community relations office in UB’s Downtown
Gateway Building to serve as a “front door” to the
university for residents. The university will create a
“co-laboratory” space within the building where
community members can interact with the university and hold
meetings and public forums.
Continue to engage residents through regular community forums to
discuss UB’s plans for growth on the BNMC and reuse of
McCarley Gardens, and offer specific sessions on job opportunities,
parking and transportation, health impacts and other topics of
interest to the community.
additional leadership training programs to residents who wish to be
active in shaping the future of their community and their
interactions with UB and BNMC.
a monthly community newsletter and increase its availability
throughout the neighborhood.
responsibility for implementing EOP recommendations to a senior
staff person at the university.
With the submittal of its report, the EOP will disband.
The UB 2020 Opportunities Advisory Council will serve as a primary
economic development liaison between the university, the community
and BNMC partners. The council, established in 2010, will
work with the university and community to ensure that the
EOP’s recommendations are addressed, and will pursue
additional ways UB and BNMC partner institutions can open up new
economic opportunities to community residents.
Members of the UB 2020 Opportunities Advisory Council
include chairperson June W. Hoeflich, member, UB Council; Michael
Badger, pastor, Bethesda World Harvest International Church;
Ravinder Bansal, chairman and CEO, AirSep Corp.; Robert Bragg, vice
president, decision support and campus development, Kaleida Health;
Deanna Alterio Brennen, president and CEO, Niagara USA Chamber of
Commerce; Matt Enstice, executive director, Buffalo Niagara Medical
Campus; Thomas A. Fentner, senior vice president, human resources
and administrative services, HealthNow New York Inc.; Vicki Garcia,
vice president, human resources management, Roswell Park Cancer
Institute; Laura Hubbard, vice president for finance and
Also, Anthony Johnson, CEO, Empire Genomics; Mary Lou Klee,
director of corporate employment and corporate human resources,
Kaleida Health; Michael Pietkiewicz, assistant vice president
of government and community relations, UB; Michael Sexton, general
counsel and chief institute operations officer, Roswell Park Cancer
Institute; Brian C. Springer, executive vice president, Roswell
Park Cancer Institute; and Paul E. Tesluk, Donald S. Carmichael
Professor of Organization and Human Resources, UB School of
Members of the EOP included Dennis Black, vice president for
university life and services, UB; Colleen W. Cummings, former
executive director, Buffalo Employment and Training Center;
Hoeflich; Brenda W. McDuffie, president and CEO, Buffalo Urban
League; Hon. James A.W. McLeod, Buffalo City Court judge; and