Saturday, October 29, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Since 2008, we've encountered higher unemployment rates, slow growth, hesitant customers, and a cautious public. What used to feel like a temporary condition has begun to feel quite permanent, and the best companies are learning how to adapt and operate in this environment.
Our region's economic stagnation (probably 70 years of it now) has forced local employers to play this game for quite some time. If you sell widgets in our area, to a local population, each widget you sell is one that someone else didn't. When you're promoted and your career accelerates, someone else was passed over. Because we've seen only minimal growth as a region, it means that it's that much harder to grow your company or career here. It's why the work we do at the Partnership is so important.
It also means that the local employers who have thrived are truly best in class. If you've grown your business locally in the past 70 years, it means you were good enough to grow despite everything going on around you. It also means that as the rest of the country struggles to adapt to the New Normal, it's business as usual for us. This time, we are ready for whatever comes at us.
In the coming months, I'll be posting examples of how Buffalo Niagara businesses can thrive in the New Normal. It's all about thinking differently, finding new approaches, meeting your clients' needs, and focusing on what's important. In the meantime, please feel free to leave a comment here or e-mail me with your thoughts on what's been going on.
Friday, October 21, 2011
A group of BN360's best and brightest stepped up to participate in one of our most unique and impactful initiatives to date. On Tuesday, October 11th, ten BN360 young professionals launched the “Be-A-Mentor” program. A new addition to the BN360 menu of member benefits, "Be-A-Mentor" is a collaborative effort with the University at Buffalo’s Liberty Partnerships Program that pairs students from Buffalo Public Schools with young professional mentors from the BN360 program.
The University at Buffalo’s Liberty Partnerships Program is a premier provider of support services for inner city youth enrolled in grades 5-12 who are at-risk of dropping out of school. They provide in-school academic support, comprehensive summer programming, SAT preparation, academic and college admissions counseling and after school programming. Dedicated to providing students with the resources they need to succeed throughout their academic careers and into the future, Buffalo Niagara 360 was asked to collaborate on a pilot program that would provide positive, career-focused role models to connect with students about their futures.
360 mentors will work with the UB LPP and Buffalo Academy of the Visual and Performing Arts students to enhance interpersonal skills, promote effective communication and assist in developing an educational career pathway, while working to increase their knowledge about the professional world. Throughout the school year, mentors will meet regularly with students from November 2011 until May of 2012 to set measurable and attainable goals and explore available career opportunities throughout the Buffalo Niagara region.
Our current pilot will serve as the model for a second program to be launched next year at Buffalo’s East High School. This second program will focus on careers in technology, math and the sciences. Currently BN360 and the UB LPP are working to monitor the progress of each program, in an effort to open the mentor model up to additional inner city schools by the fall of 2012. To learn more or to find out how you can "Be-A-Mentor," contact Christina Lopez at email@example.com or at 716.541.1723.