Workforce Development 

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Through our workforce development programs, we provide education, job training, and employment services that ensure individuals are prepared to secure employment opportunities leading to economic self-reliance. High educational achievement is a critical pathway to achieving economic self-reliance.

Our year-round programs for high school students and out-of-school programs for youth who have not received a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma (HSE, formerly GED) provide academic support, tutoring, cultural awareness, restorative justice, career exploration, mentoring, money management, college and business tours, work experience, and case management. Upon graduation, we transition graduates into college, job training programs, jobs, apprenticeships and/or the military. In addition, we award college scholarships to high school and high school equivalency (HSE) graduates from the Buffalo-Niagara Region.

The program’s purpose is to further prepare individuals for the workforce by providing job training, job placement, follow-up and supportive services in areas that respond to the needs of businesses.


  • 100% graduation and/or grade promotion for high school students and 27 HSE diplomas were earned
  • 89% of our graduates in advanced manufacturing, construction, and hospitality training are employed
  • Individuals secured jobs with average annual earnings of $40,000

Youth Engagement Services (Y.E.S.)

Consisting of two year-round components, College and Career Preparation into Success and Explore and More, we provide eligible youth, ages 14 – 21, with services necessary to graduate from high school and transition successfully into college and/or careers. These services include an array of education, life skills, occupational skills training, career exploration, work experience/internships, mentorship, intensive case management, scholarships and career development services. College and Career Preparation into Success and Explore and More provide after school programming for youth in high school from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm.

You Only Live Once (YOLO)

For eligible out of school youth, 16 – 24 in need of their high school equivalency (HSE). In the YOLO program, the youth will learn basic job readiness skills with a focus on their HSE. This exciting program provides services including classroom training, on-the job training, job shadowing, and work experience with the opportunity to earn monetary stipends. The YOLO program focuses on preparing youth for career pathways in areas consistent with the needs of the labor market, such as advanced manufacturing, health care, hospitality, and tourism. Based on need, youth can participate in programming for up to 30 hours per week for 26 weeks. 

Project Ready

The Project Ready National Mentor Project is based upon three primary cornerstones: 

  1. A mentor/youth relationship building model.
  2. Core work readiness and academic activities leverages from the NUL existing programs (Project Ready and the Youth Development Framework and Guide).
  3. Wraparound activities such as community service learning and financial literacy that further engage the youth and demonstrate meaningful connections to society and the economy. 

The primary target population for the Project Ready National Mentor Project is African Americans and other urban youth ages 11-18, who are particularly vulnerable to disengagement from school, community, and the world of work.

Advantage After School

The Urban League has designed an Advantage After School Program that will utilize a comprehensive, holistic approach to address the multiple risk factors facing City of Buffalo youth living in poverty. The Urban League has partnered with Health Sciences Charter School (Grades 9-12) to implement this unique program within one of Buffalo’s poorest communities, serving at-risk youth at the school daily, M-F, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The programming experience and breadth of industry partnerships between the two organizations will provide youth with a seamless flow of support services that will decrease the damaging and negative risk behaviors that halt their growth and development and increase their capacity to pursue a successful and rewarding future.

TRAINING: Northland Workforce Training Center

Working as a partner along with Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, and Goodwill Industries, the Buffalo Urban League provides assistance to students 18 and over who are interested in advanced manufacturing and energy sector career opportunities and pathways. Through the program’s SUNY educational partners, ECC and Alfred State, individuals accepted into this program will be eligible for credit, certificate and associate degrees.


Through our employment transition services, we serve residents of Erie County, ages 18 and over, who are unemployed, underemployed, dislocated workers or seeking employment change. Individual assessments are made to determine the specific services required for an individual to address their needs and barriers so that they can become an active job seeker and compete in the labor market. As a part of our outreach plan, services are provided twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday, at the Buffalo Employment and Training Center. (BETC)

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