Buffalo, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo celebrated the grand opening of a new Welding Lab, and renovations of the existing Machine Tool Lab and Auto Lab at Burgard High School. The $3.2 million Buffalo Billion initiative lead by Alfred State College provides the tools students need to train for careers in welding, automotive and other careers.
“Education is the first step of workforce development, and New York will continue to equip our young people with the necessary tools and training for future success,” governor Cuomo said. “This project will create a hands-on learning experience that will prepare students for college and the advanced manufacturing employment pipeline, and will continue the economic progress we’ve made in Western New York.”
The rehabilitation of the existing building has been completed along with extensive upgrades and new equipment in the Auto, Welding, and Machine Tool labs at Burgard High School. The Machine Tool Lab has been outfitted with state-of-the-art lathes, drills, pressers and grinders. The Auto Lab now has new drops and lifts for the automobiles. Burgard has also added equipment in a new second welding lab. The total project cost of the Machine Tool Lab, Welding Lab and Auto Lab equipment addition is $800,000 of the $3.2 million in Buffalo Billion funding.
The students of Burgard High School took an active role in the renovations, working alongside the construction workers to create the welding stations.
Mayor Byron Brown said, “Today’s announcement is another step in the right direction to prepare our youth for jobs of the future. I’m very pleased that students at Burgard High School will now benefit from a new state-of-the-art Welding Lab, and renovations to the Machine Tool Lab and Auto Lab. I thank governor Andrew Cuomo and lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul for investing in our young people with $3.2 million, part of the Buffalo Billion initiative. Buffalo’s students will now have access to high-tech tools, which will prepare them for high paying careers.”
It is predicted that more than 20,000 advanced manufacturing jobs in welding, auto tech, and advanced machine tool technology will be available in the area by 2020 due to retirement and industry growth. Burgard students have the opportunity to prepare for these jobs by enrolling in the Advanced Manufacturing Program, in partnership with Alfred State College, Say Yes Buffalo and Dream It Do It Western NY.