The Northland Workforce Training Center was set up to help train workers for the jobs of the future. Its president and CEO says it is also there for the nearly 300 workers who will be displaced when Ingersoll-Rand closes its Cheektowaga manufacturing center.
The company is shutting the plant and splitting its workload among several other plants, including one in China. It will keep its tech center, with its 150 workers locally.
Northland President and CEO Stephen Tucker said his East Side facility can help those workers, using its latest-generation equipment and its classroom instruction.
"Definitely, we can," Tucker said. "As you know, technology is constantly changing and evolving and new technologies are coming on board. So at Northland, we have the latest technology around, advanced machinery, advance manufacturing, welding, industrial electricians, energy competency. So folks that who been downsized who want to upskill, we can definitely assist them."
Tucker said companies want workers like these because they have track records of performance, from coming into work every day on time to passing drug tests.
"We have an aggressive outreach team and I like what the executive director of the Regional Economic Development Council said, was that if we can get ahead of these closings, ahead of time, we can come up with a plan so that we can have either opportunities for these folks, immediately or training which will eventually prepare them for future opportunities."