Home » About Us

What’s Next in Western New York

In Western New York, economic transformation isn’t on a distant horizon — it’s unfolding around us in the present.

And you don’t have to look far. From Main Street to major corporations, employers are hiring: By 2030, the local agriculture industry will grow roughly 11%, manufacturing 18%, construction 20% and healthcare 25%, according to New York Department of Labor data. Yet, these industries report that they can’t find workers with the right skills.

Our Mission

Here’s where Western New York Works comes in. As a collaborative effort between local State University of New York (SUNY) colleges, we pay attention to the type of workforce area employers need to thrive. We then take these insights to develop short-term career training programs that direct recent high school graduates and working professionals toward these high-paying jobs with long-term growth potential — and a high level of satisfaction.

Additionally, we acknowledge that job requirements periodically change in response to new technologies and industry trends. Offering stackable credentials, affordable upskilling and transferable associate degrees means our local workforce can return to school as needed, continually building the knowledge that keeps them competitive.

Our Approach

Not only is our economy evolving, but the skills required to enter various trade and technical paths are changing. For example, manufacturing — a sector employing about 15% of Western New York’s workforce — is increasingly innovation-based. As a result, entry- and mid-level workers are no longer just hands-on doers: They’re expected to be strategic, creative thinkers with some programming and computer knowledge in their vast toolkit.

To improve access to opportunity and power our region’s economy, Alfred State College, Genesee Community College and Jamestown Community College collectively amplify awareness around non-credit career training, certificates and associate degrees and reach out to employers to adjust both program curricula and the experiences available to students.

This two-pronged approach delivers three-fold benefits:

  • For students: Your future’s here — and waiting for you. Conveniently build cutting-edge skills on a full- or part-time basis, including through dual enrollment as a high schooler, and meet surging industry demand in Western New York.
  • For employers: From students eager for field experience to job fairs and opportunities to sponsor industry competitions, get ready to plug into a network of future employees with next-level skills and extend affordable job training to your staff.
  • For the community: You don’t have to travel far to define your version of success. Game-changing opportunities — and the life you want — are just a drive away at your local SUNY college.

How Western New York Works … Works

Here’s how to find career training opportunities through Western New York Works:

1. Explore a wide spectrum of career paths

Including manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, automotive repair and construction, and see what you could potentially do and earn.

2. We’ve compiled all related programs in one place

Including short-term training, micro-credentials, certificates and associate degrees for either pursuing licensure or entering the workforce with essential know-how. We’ve grouped them by school so you know exactly where to go for the hands-on, real-world instruction you need.

3. Apply

Apply directly through the college you intend to attend — and start training.

4. Return when you’re ready

Your story’s just beginning. When the time’s right, come back for your bachelor’s or another short-term credential to grow or refine your skills — and gear up to make a major impact in management.