CenterState CEO & Partners See Best Practices in Action during Northland Workforce Training Center Visit

Posted on June 3, 2024

northland workforce training center tour

The CenterState CEO Inclusive Growth team and a robust network of partners recently traveled to Buffalo and toured the Northland Workforce Training Center to learn about best practices as they begin planning for the flagship ON-RAMP facility in Syracuse. The team of community, training and employer partners is collaborating on the development of this new workforce innovation hub. 

The Northland Workforce Training Center is a facility on Buffalo’s East Side that trains people for careers in advanced manufacturing and clean energy. The future Syracuse ON-RAMP facility plans to similarly include training programs as well as wrap around services, while being tailored specifically to the needs of Syracuse and Central New York residents. Northland Workforce Training Center is one model that CenterState CEO is taking inspiration from while planning for the city’s ON-RAMP facility.  

Five Key Takeaways: 

  1. A strong, welcoming culture is important to successfully bringing people from diverse backgrounds into the space and recruiting them for training programs.  

  1. The facility should serve as a one-stop shop for people looking to start a career. A “no wrong doors” approach, or the ability to guide an individual to a suitable path based on their skills and needs, is an important part of success.  

  1. Innovative partnerships with educational institutions can create more opportunities for training program participants.  

  1. An engaged employer network will be vital to the overall success of the future ON-RAMP facility. Companies and unions should be directly involved in classroom and hands-on training, as well as candidate selection within the program.  

  1. The ON-RAMP project in Syracuse should not only be a service facility, but a thoughtful and intentional economic development project. It should enhance the neighborhood it is in, reinforce placemaking strategies and showcase the industries and technologies.  


ON-RAMP will be an unparalleled opportunity for collaboration and workforce innovation, aligning with programs that already exist and accommodating the community’s growing need for advanced manufacturing and construction talent. CenterState CEO hired Braven as a consultant as it helps lead the ON-RAMP planning process, which includes nearly 50 partners in subcommittees. The end design, programming and operations will be a result of engaging partners through this community-wide, collaborative effort. 

Leaders from Syracuse’s private, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors are participating in subcommittees and charged with outlining the organization’s approach to talent and workforce development for advanced manufacturing and construction.  Subcommittees include Employers and Training Partners; Services, Academic Preparation and Outreach; Community Engagement and Culture; Organizational Strategy; and Real Estate. The process with result in a strategic and business plan by the end of the summer. 


About ON-RAMP 

Announced by Governor Hochul in 2023, One Network for Regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships (ON-RAMP) will create four workforce development centers across the state, with the first award made to CenterState CEO to lead planning for Central New York. Over the next two years, CenterState CEO will work with industry, training, and community partners to launch a new high-quality Workforce Innovation Hub focused on advanced manufacturing and construction. As New York State positions itself as a national leader in semiconductor manufacturing in collaboration with Micron, CenterState CEO is helping to prepare Central New York residents for 21st century jobs offering family-sustaining wages. 

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