Upstate New York cities take in around 90 percent of all current refugee resettlements in the state. All this week, The Innovation Trail is taking a look at how that diverse population has weaved its way into the region’s changing economy.
In Buffalo, a handful of students from countries all over the world are sitting in a class at Journey’s End Refugee Services. They are learning how to become janitors for local businesses. The group nods as a student explains an assignment to them.
More than a dozen people rallied in a controlled area across from Alumni Arena in Buffalo today. While some were there to ask President Obama to pull out of the Middle East and stop using drones, the majority of protesters were there to urge the president to ban the gas drilling technique known as hydrofracking. Rita Yelda is with Food and Water Watch. She says her group was hoping to get the chance to meet the president and let its voice be heard.
As the sun heated up the parking lot outside Henninger High School this morning, umbrellas and other makeshift sources of shade began to replace pillows and blankets.
Some people had been in line since 7 p.m. Monday, shortly after details of President Barack Obama's visit to Syracuse were released, in hopes of getting tickets to see him give a speech at the high school Thursday evening about making education more affordable.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced this month it will be providing technical assistance to three western New York communities. They were chosen out of 121 applicants and are three of 43 communities to be assisted across the country. The EPA will provide the aid by delivering workshops on developing sustainable growth strategies.
In the late 1980s, a few college friends in Buffalo created a game called “Trash Can Frisbee.” Players tossed a disc toward garbage cans where a partner slapped it in for points. The sport was mostly played in backyards around Buffalo for years. Now, it’s now known as KanJam and played at tailgates and parties all over the country. But the sport owes its success… to gym class.
The Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) received good news last year: its four-year graduation rate rose by seven percent. Still, nearly half the district’s high school students failed to earn a diploma. The struggling urban school system continues to look for dramatic fixes. This year, the district is starting in kindergarten.
Buffalo’s latest business incubator is on the hunt for small tech companies who are long on ideas, but perhaps short on cash, office space and personnel.
Calling itself Buffalo’s first Internet-focused incubator, Z80 Labs launched Monday with a well-orchestrated launch party featuring the region’s tech elite, as well as Forbes CEO Mike Perlis, and prominent venture capitalist Fred Wilson.