Higher education partnerships are popping up all over | Business Local


Buffalo Next

Trocaire-Roswell Park among new partners in WNY higher education

As the drive to play a role in Western New York’s economic development intensifies, colleges and universities are seeking partnerships like never before – partnerships with employers, partnerships with state and community organizations, even partnerships with each other.

Here’s a look at three new partnerships involving WNY higher education institutions and other entities that stand to benefit the partners, students and the region.

1014322244 Refresh cover Trocaire College Pathways program KIRKHAM

Trocaire College Pathways to Nursing Success students Kittrella Whitlock, center, and Dedra Robinson, right, get hands-on health care training with help from professional mentor and LPN Trinetta Alston at the Community Health Center of Buffalo.

Trocaire and Roswell Park

Trocaire College and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center are teaming up improve career pathways for students in Trocaire’s health sciences programs with the new Roswell Scholars program.

The program, which starts in the fall, will allow 10 Trocaire students a year to work on-site at Roswell Park to learn about potential careers, with the goal of being hired upon completion of their degrees.

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Roswell Park will provide mentors and job shadowing, as well as professional development seminars to students accepted into the program. The private Catholic college in Buffalo will provide annual $1,000 scholarships to participants and tailor educational programming to connect their Roswell Park experience to their curriculum and training.

Students and graduates of the program will get a chance to apply and interview for open positions they are qualified for at Roswell Park, said Trocaire President Bassam M. Deeb.

“With the demand for a well-trained healthcare workforce continuing to increase, the Roswell Scholars program is an opportunity for our students to go beyond the clinical experience and understand firsthand the variety of career opportunities available for them at one of the top cancer centers in the country, right in our own backyard,” Deeb said.

“Our partnership with Roswell Park seeks to create a career pipeline, exposing students to different aspects of healthcare throughout their college years and preparing Roswell Park’s potential future workforce in the process.”

Second-year Trocaire students will be applying for the program this summer.

Roswell Park

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Niagara and New York State

Niagara University is working with the New York Department of State and Empire State Development to create an academic innovation hub and downtown community space in Niagara Falls’ Bridge District as part of the city’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

The deal allows Niagara to buy the First Congregational United Church of Christ at 822 Cleveland Ave. and renovate it to create a center for community outreach to assist area residents with early childhood development, economic development, community collaborations and health and wellness while providing learning opportunities for students.

Niagara will invest $2.5 million in the project, including a $1.1 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award through the Department of State and ESD.

The arrangement allows the 168-year-old church, whose congregation has dwindled in recent years, to continue using the sanctuary space for Sunday worship and other activities while funding needed repairs and renovations that the church could no longer afford.

The initiative will save a historic building, open it to community use and give Niagara “a high-profile community presence to support direct neighborhood outreach, academic and civic programming, and historical and cultural events,” the state said in a statement.

“This project underscores the indispensable role that universities serve as anchors for urban revitalization, economic development and the overall quality of life within a community,” said New York Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez. “The establishment of this innovation hub in the Bridge District will enhance the vibrancy and vitality of this rising Niagara Falls neighborhood and the region.”

Jamestown CC and SUNY-Fredonia

SUNY-Fredonia and SUNY-Jamestown Community College are joining forces to make attaining a bachelor’s degree more accessible to the Southern Tier starting this fall.

The colleges are partnering to allow JCC graduates to complete bachelor’s degree programs offered at Fredonia through classes held entirely on the JCC campus. The initial rollout of the collaboration – dubbed “JCC + FRED: Bachelor’s Opportunities Locally Delivered” – will include childhood inclusive education, early childhood/childhood education and business administration.

The goal is to make it easier for JCC grads who have completed an associate’s degree in these areas to go on for their bachelor’s degree. Classes will be available in late afternoon and evening to accommodate working adults and non-traditional students.

“Business administration and education are both high-demand career areas,” said Daniel DeMarte, president of JCC. “Bringing these bachelor’s degree opportunities to JCC will make them more accessible to students who find it difficult to attend classes on the Fredonia campus.”

SUNY Fredonia faculty will teach courses on the Jamestown campus, with a live feed available for JCC’s Cattaraugus County campus to serve students in Olean and surrounding areas, said Fredonia President Stephen H. Kolison Jr.

“This collaboration with JCC is the latest example of how SUNY Fredonia is fulfilling its mission to serve the citizens of this region,” Kolison said.

Want to know more? Three stories to catch you up:

• Workers hard to find? Auto workers build direct path from college to a job. 

• Hilbert College partners with BestSelf to expand WNY counseling workforce.

• Daemen University to add dental college to its health care programs.

Welcome to Buffalo Next. This newsletter from The Buffalo News will bring you the latest coverage on the changing Buffalo Niagara economy – from real estate to health care to startups. Read more at BuffaloNext.com.


Catch up on the latest news from Buffalo Next:

Two retailers in Buffalo Niagara region, including one with four shops in the area, have been ordered by the state’s Office of Cannabis Management to stop the unlicensed sale of cannabis.

The new owner of the Jersey Street Firehouse on Buffalo’s West Side plans to convert the three-story brick building into apartments, after a previous redevelopment proposal by another group ran into neighborhood opposition.

Buffalo Transportation Inc. has been suspended from operating its vehicles for 60 days by the state, the result of a penalty long ago imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles that was just recently upheld by the state Supreme Court.

A former church rectory that later became home to the Larkin Men’s Club for workers at the Larkin Co. is getting ready for a new use as market-rate apartments and commercial space, with the husband-and-wife team of Michael Myers and Kayla Zemsky renovating the 696 Seneca St. building.

Shea’s has revived a $26 million plan from a few years ago for a five-story addition with new elevators, concessions, bathrooms and lobby. The project will be in front of the Buffalo Preservation Board on Thursday.

SUNY Erie Community College’s Board of Trustees approved a resolution Thursday supporting the elimination of 90 positions at the financially troubled college. The jobs are mostly part-time clerical and maintenance positions at the college.

Workers at 12 for-profit WNY nursing homes have authorized one-day strikes. A major issue revolves around low wages for service workers, such as dietary aides and housekeepers, who can start at the regional minimum wage of $13.20 an hour.

Buffalo Place, the nonprofit business improvement district for downtown Buffalo, has won another $300,000 state grant to support revitalization of buildings and facades on Main Street.

Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino has a vision to create a $150 million “gateway” park downtown, with an ice rink, indoor arena and outdoor amphitheater, but the 12 acres of land he’s eyeing for the proposed Centennial Park is owned by Howard Milstein’s Niagara Falls Redevelopment, and Milstein’s firm isn’t interested in selling it.

Chinnici’s Legacy Development is proposing to construct a pair of large new apartment buildings on a 6.1-acre site on McKesson Parkway, off Union Road, in Cheektowaga.

Kaleida Health and two major unions have agreed to a second extension of their existing contract, which was set to expire May 31 before the two sides extended it until June 30, as they try to iron out a new collective bargaining agreement.

The push to redevelop the LaSalle Metro Rail station and surrounding acreage is generating more interest than any previous real estate bid by the city, as 10 developers or groups submitted responses to the city’s “request for qualifications” in early May.

Buffalo Next reporters Jonathan D. Epstein, Jon Harris, Natalie Brophy, Matt Glynn, Janet Gramza and Mike Petro contributed to this roundup.


Five reads from Buffalo Next:

1. St. Joseph Campus has been through many changes over the years: They range from the abrupt transition to a Covid-19-only hospital in 2020 to the ongoing reinvention into an outpatient and ambulatory care center. Constant reinvention is what it takes to fit within the future of health care.

2. Retailers and new entrepreneurs making the move toward the sale of recreational marijuana are in limbo: They’re awaiting regulations from the state and preparing for the application process expected to begin sometime this summer, all the while having to compete with the black and gray markets.

3. You might be familiar with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser as a popular stain removal product. But did you know it is made in the Buffalo Niagara region, in a new plant on the former Bethlehem Steel site?

4. New apartments are popping up across Western New York: From the Elmwood Village and Allentown to South Buffalo and the West Side, from Tonawanda and Amherst to Orchard Park and Hamburg, developers are putting up new apartment buildings or converting old industrial warehouses and offices.

5. At 41, Steve K. Stoute is the youngest and the first person of color to lead Canisius College in its 150-year history. He said his first focus will be on growing enrollment, including more students of color, first-generation college students and new Americans.

The Buffalo Next team gives you the big picture on the region’s economic revitalization. Email tips to [email protected] or reach Buffalo Next Editor David Robinson at 716-849-4435.

Email tips to [email protected].


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