Buffalo, NY –
On March 11 of this year, President Biden signed a $1.9 trillion emergency spending package to help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us nodded our heads and then stopped thinking about what that money would do or where it would go. For the citizens of Buffalo, Mayor Byron W. Brown believes the best way to use this influx of federal dollars is to invest in the future.
“Our plan is to totally transform Buffalo, embracing the success of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, by planning to make our city the kind of home we have consistently worked to achieve, but never before had the resources to complete,” Brown said to the Buffalo News on Sunday. The federal government has allocated over $300 million to the City of Buffalo to use at it sees fit, and the first programs in line for expansion are the Summer Youth Employment Program and the Northland Workforce Training Center.
The goal of the Summer Youth Employment Program is to provide summer jobs to at-risk kids in the community, helping them obtain useful skills and keeping them out of trouble. The program is being expanded with these federal dollars in order to help more kids stay on the straight and narrow. Over at Northland, which only started in 2018 but boasts over 300 graduates, the federal money will be used for tuition assistance, books, and child care. There are thousands of manufacturing jobs that are currently seeking employees in the Buffalo area, and the skills provided by the Northland Workforce Training Center are vital to helping people to gain access to these quality union jobs.
These are just two of the “shovel-ready” projects that the city is expanding due to the investments made by our federal government. Streetscapes, environmental repair, and better infrastructure are all on the table, but the most important view is that of the citizens of Buffalo. The mayor is actively seeking comment and feedback for what other investments in the future of Buffalo can be made with this influx of resources. The city, by taking a person-centered approach, intends to “…give people access to resources, rebuild the infrastructure systems that impact their everyday lives, and foster real wealth generation that targets the needs of ordinary residents,” the mayor’s office stated in a press release.
So take a moment to provide some feedback to your mayor, citizens of Buffalo. Over a quarter of a billion dollars is waiting to be invested in your community, and you have a say as to where that money goes and how it will improve your life. Well, isn’t that nice?