As a center that collaborates with internal and external organizations, our ears are always to the ground, gleaning the barriers that obstruct employers and employees from reaching their goals. We listen for emerging needs while keeping an eye on changing economic conditions.
This vantage point affords us an opportunity to have real influence in the region. A combination of expertise – of both the subject matter and partner-building kinds – and a data-centric thought process is the formula behind our creative endeavors aimed at generating economic growth.
Below are a few examples of how we advance new ideas to support businesses and the economy.
UB is teaming with Alfred State College to support growth of the renewable energy sector by building collaborations and expanding educational opportunities. TCIE is project manager, overseeing the two-year Western New York Clean Energy Workforce Development Program. Made possible by a $760,000 grant awarded in fall 2018 by New York State Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Climate Jobs NY initiative, the aim is to close critical workforce gaps by strengthening the connectivity between clean energy employers and educators in Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Allegany counties.
In June 2019, the team published Clean Energy Workforce Assessment for Western New York, a comprehensive 54-page report detailing the opportunities, challenges and key considerations surrounding five subsectors of clean energy. Click on the image (above right) to read the full report.
Aside from new curriculum and labs, the initiative has spurred broader conversations among a contingent of SUNY schools to collaborate on clean energy endeavors.
TCIE and a consortium of UB entities embarked on a two-year, $699,130 project partially funded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to foster innovation, job creation and private capital investment. The Innovation Hub (iHub) Accelerator Program created a stronger, more cohesive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Western New York by accelerating the commercialization pipeline, connecting entrepreneurs to university and community resources, and cultivating a highly skilled talent pool through education. It was a precursor to the Innovation Hub, launched in May 2019 to support innovation at UB and its leading research partners. The $32 million New York State investment matches students, faculty, clinicians, and researchers with resources to commercialize innovations.
Click on the infographic to see a visual depiction of the iHub's influence and impact.