Green Team Keeps the BNMC Shining While Building Skills And Gaining Employment
If you have spent time on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus or in the BNMC’s Innovation Center, you have probably encountered one or more members of our “Green Team,” a group of individuals currently working as part of an apprentice-style program while handling building maintenance and landscaping for the BNMC. The small but impactful program helps nearby residents gain a variety of skills so that they can obtain, keep and realize success in future jobs.
The Green Team currently includes members of Buffalo’s refugee population who are working to improve their language skills along with their knowledge and abilities in areas that will provide opportunities for full-time employment. A total of 11 residents of the City of Buffalo have successfully completed or are currently part of the program, with members successfully “graduating” into new full-time, permanent jobs.
The workforce development program was created to provide a holistic approach to preparing people who may have barriers to employment with the practical and life skills needed to be successful. In addition to building skills and experience by maintaining the BNMC’s multiple properties on the Medical Campus, the team also has classroom training in skilled trades such as plumbing, electrical, carpentry, HVAC, and horticulture. A dedicated workshop, built by Green Team members and the BNMC team together at the Innovation Center, is used for both practical purposes and hands-on training.
Recognizing that life circumstances can create issues that negatively impact successful employment, the program also includes education and guidance in areas such as communication, financial literacy, time management, computer skills, resume writing and much more. We also work with our team to overcome hurdles to employment including obtaining a driver’s license and or finding childcare when necessary. Personal mentoring for team members is also an integral part of the program to better understand some of their challenges and to help them overcome barriers to future success.