Western New York's Largest Supplier of Reclaimed & Surplus Building Material

Empowering Neighbor

Michael was interviewed by Megan Callahan for Merge’s Empowering Neighbors feature. Read the whole interview at The Good Neighborhood:

You have a passion for helping young people, for equipping them with concrete job skills and readiness in the “green collar” class and finding them job placement, as you mentioned. How is that going? Is this a model you plan to continue?

Photo by Caesandra Seawell
Well, I have a commitment at ReUse Action to support: A) employment opportunities in our community; and B) young adults in our community who are out of school and out of work. So that’s long been my commitment in Buffalo. And the founding of this new company is a collaboration that we really see having potential and promise for this. Because a lot of our work is very high labor and skill work when it comes to processing lumber or materials and that kind of thing, and it’s a great vehicle for getting young adults involved in the green field while also kind of focusing on the basics. Communication skills and job readiness that gets to work on time with all their equipment, that what is really needed.

I mean, we talk every day at the work site about the skills that are applicable no matter where they go – whether it’s a construction site or whether they’re working with a marketing firm or working in community politics. It’s about sharing with them basic expectation that employers have, and it’s about building a strong relationship with co-workers that really benefits one’s own skill set, and benefits one’s employer and their community. That’s the core of our work. We want to continue this relationship with the Outsource Center. It’s a good first step for us. It doesn’t stretch us too thin and it enables us to do some innovative restoration, renovation work and salvage work that we may not have the capacity to do otherwise. So really it serves our company as well as the trainees. Read entire interview . . .