WNY's Largest Supplier of Reclaimed and Surplus Building Material

Women in the trades

Working in an industry where females comprise only 3% of the workforce can be rough, especially in a blue-collar town like Buffalo.  I see behavior and overhear conversations everyday that show me society’s stereotypical female and male roles are very much alive and kicking. Yelled from below while reroofing my aunt’s porch: “All women crew?  Where’s your man to do that?” From a foreman on another crew: “A girl in charge today?  You’re too pretty to get dirty!  You should be in a nice office somewhere, not here supervising dirty boys! This is 2011.  And yet, as a woman in … Read more

Their Next Step . . . Apprentices in Action!

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more luck I have.” — Thomas Jefferson Our first apprenticeship class, that spent over five weeks facilitating a huge salvage effort of tubs, sinks, ceramic tile, doors, and molding, is proving that diligence and hard work pay off when pursuing job placements in the City of Buffalo. Since our last report a couple weeks back, seven of our nine apprentices have secured jobs locally. Many will be continuing work at the Hotel Lafayette starting this coming Tuesday, as they move on to the demolition phase of … Read more

Salvaging at the Lafayette Hotel

We’ve hinted at our current big salvage project, and some of you may have seen activity downtown at Washington and Clinton. Here’s the scoop on what ReUse Action’s salvage team is up to: The Lafayette, Buffalo’s Most Palatial Hotel . . . Absolutely Fireproof . . . European Plan . . . 300 Rooms . . . Designed by the first female professional architect in the US, Louise Blanchard Bethune. Opened in 1904, every room featured hot and cold water and a telephone. Built in the French Renaissance style, befitting its name, Lafayette, after the French general who fought in … Read more

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? 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 … Read more

Do not wait…

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” ~Mother Teresa Though my formal schooling is long behind me, I’m grateful that my hunger for new information, ideas, and skills is still rumbling.  I learn best from doing, so if I were to spend the next year in learning mode, I’d design my year to learn directly from some of my friends that are experts in their respective fields.  I can think of many of this fine folks…friends that are overflowing with information and skills, people whose talent I envy and admire, and individuals that have so much … Read more

It takes OUR village…

I’m sure you’re heard the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.”  Today, we’re asking our friends, colleagues, family members, acquaintances, and folks we’re now meeting for the first time, to help us in supporting some youth in our village, right here in Buffalo, NY.    Four weeks ago, ReUse Action, took on the responsibility of apprenticing nine young adults from the Outsource Training Center on the East Side of Buffalo.  They all arrived for their first day of work at the Hotel Lafayette downtown, eager, ready for work, willing to make a change in their lives.  When we … Read more