Daily Archives: Mar 26, 2020

    Hasta el momento, en Puerto Rico se han registrado 64 casos de Covid-19

    (San Juan, PR)  La gobernadora Wanda Vázquez Garced extendió esta tarde por dos semanas el toque de queda a los ciudadanos de Puerto Rico, así como el cierre forzado de ciertos negocios para continuar la contingencia de la propagación del coronavirus Covid-19 que ya ha cobrado dos vidas y ha contagiado a 64 personas en el País.Ahora, la cuarentena -que comenzó el pasado 14 de marzo y estaba pautada para culminar el 30 de marzo- se extenderá hasta el 12 de abril, pero con enmiendas de mayor restricción para la ciudadanía.

    A partir del 31 de marzo, el toque de queda comenzará a partir de las 7:00 de la noche y se extenderá hasta las 5:00 de la mañana.




    ESD Board approves $2M grant to TechBuffalo to collaborate with ESD

    Empire State Development today announced the launch of the $12 million Buffalo-Niagara Talent Initiative to help cultivate Western New York’s tech workforce. This new initiative is designed to train, attract and retain tech talent to fuel the region’s continued economic transformation. The Empire State Development (ESD) Board of Directors met today and approved a $2 million grant to TechBuffalo, a not-for-profit that will partner with ESD and lead coordination and implementation for the initiative.

    “The objectives of the new Buffalo-Niagara Talent Initiative will attract and cultivate the jobs that power the region’s innovation-driven economy,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “These efforts will build on the remarkable progress that has transformed Western New York as a result of our investment in the region.”


    James Partsch, Executive Director at TechBuffalo said, “Working together, this initiative will help build a future in which the Buffalo community is growing, developing, and engaging tech talent by upskilling and reskilling our existing workforce, collaborating with regional universities and community organizations, keeping great talent in Western New York, and attracting new individuals and their families to our amazing community.  This would not be possible without the support of the Wester New York Impact Investment Fund providing bridge funding to ensure the immediate operationalization of our mission is realized.”

    The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) developed the Buffalo-Niagara Talent Initiative in response to a labor pool shortage identified in the region, particularly in the tech sector.  Driven by increased digitalization and automation across industries, companies around the globe are facing a technology talent shortage that will continue to expand in the coming years. Industries in Western New York have identified an urgent need to fill a large number of vacant tech positions. Creating, attracting, and retaining talent with modern technology skills will be a key differentiator for the region’s continued success. Through this new initiative, funding will be provided for new programs that seek to increase the tech talent pool and help Western New York continue to play a part in rebuilding its economy.  New York State is committing up to $8 million in funding to jump-start these programs, and is engaging with foundations and the private sector to further develop and fund the Initiative.

    New programs will focus on improving the tech ecosystem through a three-pronged approach to address the urgent need for tech workers, including:

    • Upskilling and reskilling unemployed and underemployed individuals for entry-level jobs in tech, as well as upskilling mid-level tech professionals and recent college graduates for more senior positions.  Partnerships with industry will provide new training opportunities and job placement assistance upon completion of training.

    • Retaining graduates of local colleges and universities by establishing programs that provide better connections to industry through internships and networking opportunities.

    • Attracting tech workers from outside the region to increase the population and labor pool through:

    • Working with Forge Buffalo on providing resources for job seekers and employers in startups and small tech companies to connect and hire;
    • Creating a program allowing tech students in colleges and universities outside of the region to spend time in the region connecting and working with local employers and to consider Western New York a place to live and work after graduation; and
    • Developing content and digital marketing with Invest Buffalo Niagara and the “Be in Buffalo” platform to expand the reach of the WNY region’s tech sector-focused talent recruitment efforts.

    To coordinate the multiple initiatives, ESD will be partnering with TechBuffalo, a not-for-profit with the mission of producing 5,000 new technology professions in the WNY region. To avoid duplicating efforts with other organizations, TechBuffalo will work to: coordinate activities across the investment portfolio; develop a website that serves as a portal for overarching information on the Buffalo tech scene; host events and provide coordination between companies and job seekers; and implement a tech-specific talent attraction and retention agenda that cuts across the three strategies on behalf of ESD.

    Through their work and across the portfolio, ESD and TechBuffalo are seeking to: increase outreach to local college students and companies to improve student awareness of post-grad opportunities; improve access of non-WNY residents to job opportunities in the region, so they consider WNY as a place to relocate; increase access of companies to job seekers; and grow the regional tech sector and average tech sector wages.

    Senator Tim Kennedy said, “Now more than ever, we need to be creating new opportunities for employment and fueling innovative ideas, and the Buffalo Niagara Talent Initiative will fulfill both of those goals. This new partnership will complement existing tech incubators like 43North, and continue to foster the training and skills needed to build strong tech leaders here in Western New York.”

    Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, “Now more than ever, the Buffalo Niagara Talent Initiative is needed to help train tech workers to prepare them for the opportunities that will exist after we come out of this economic slump created by the coronavirus pandemic. The $2 million grant to Tech Buffalo will ensure those hardest hit by this public health crisis get the training they need to fill these new tech jobs as we move toward a more innovation driven economy. We thank the Governor for his continued vision and support for the people of Western New York.”

    Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, “Western New York is known for having an incredible workforce, and the new Buffalo-Niagara Talent Initiative will be an important step forward for the future of our region. An innovative tech workforce is fueling our growth. By providing the training our workers need, we will help to ensure these jobs are the foundation for our success in the 21st century.”

    Mayor Byron Brown said, “The state’s new efforts to attract tech talent is a great fit with my Administration’s Race for Place initiative, which is employing “smart city” technology to improve and maintain our infrastructure to help position Buffalo as a place tech companies and their employees want to be. ESD’s board actions today enables work to begin on the planning, implementation and coordination of multiple initiatives targeting talent attraction and the retention of tech sector workers in Buffalo, which will result in direct job placement.”

    About Buffalo-Niagara Talent Initiative

    The $12 million Buffalo-Niagara Talent Initiative helps cultivate the tech workforce fueling Western New York’s continued growth. This new initiative is designed to train, attract and retain tech talent that will continue to power the region’s economic rebirth.  For more information, visit https://buffalobillion.ny.gov/buffaloniagara-talent-initiative.

      House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly press conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on March 26, 2020.

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she expected the chamber to pass an estimated $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill when it meets on Friday, after the Senate overwhelmingly approved the unprecedented economic rescue legislation Wednesday evening

      “Tomorrow we’ll bring the bill to the floor. It will pass with strong bipartisan support,” Pelosi, a Democrat, told reporters.

      The legislation will rush direct payments to Americans within three weeks once the Democratic-controlled House passes it and Republican President Donald Trump signs it into law, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

      The Republican-led Senate approved the bill – which would be the largest fiscal stimulus measure ever passed by Congress – by 96 votes to zero late on Wednesday, overcoming bitter partisan negotiations and boosting its chances of passing the House.

      The unanimous Senate vote, a rare departure from bitter partisanship in Washington that followed several days of wrangling, underscored how seriously members of Congress are taking the global pandemic as Americans suffer and the medical system reels.

      “When there’s a crisis of this magnitude, the private sector cannot solve it,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said.

      “Individuals, even with bravery and valor, are not powerful enough to beat it back. Government is the only force large enough to staunch the bleeding and begin the healing.”

      The package is intended to flood the country with cash in an effort to stem the crushing impact on the economy of an intensifying pandemic that has killed about 1,000 people in the United States and infected nearly 70,000.

      Pelosi said there was no question more money would be needed to fight the coronavirus. She said House committees would be working on the next phase in the near term, even if the full chamber is not in session. She said lawmakers would need to be on call for possible votes.

      House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy also backs the relief plan, but said he wanted it to be allowed to work before deciding whether more legislation was needed.

      “This will be probably the largest bill anybody in Congress has ever voted for,” he told reporters.

      Only two other countries, China and Italy, have more coronavirus cases than the United States. The World Health Organization has warned the United States looks set to become the epicenter of the pandemic.

      The American government’s intervention follows two other packages that became law this month. The money at stake amounts to nearly half of the total $4.7 trillion the federal government spends annually.

      Trump, who has promised to sign the bill as soon as it passes the House, expressed his delight on Twitter. “96-0 in the United States Senate. Congratulations AMERICA!” he wrote.

      Pelosi said House leaders were planning a voice vote on the rescue plan on Friday, but said leaders would be prepared for other contingencies. She had said a day earlier that if there were calls for a vote recorded by name, lawmakers might be able to vote by proxy, as not all would attend.

      “If somebody has a different point of view (about the bill), they can put it in the record,” she said, referring to the Congressional Record.

      McCarthy predicted the measure would pass Friday morning following a debate.

      The massive bill, worth more than $2 trillion, includes a $500 billion fund to help hard-hit industries and a comparable amount for direct payments of up to $3,000 apiece to millions of families.

      The legislation will also provide $350 billion for small-business loans, $250 billion for expanded unemployment aid and at least $100 billion for hospitals and related health systems.

      The House has 430 members, most of whom have been out of Washington since March 14. Many want to return for the vote, but for all to attend would be difficult, given that at least two have tested positive for the coronavirus, a handful of others are in self-quarantine, and several states have issued stay-at-home orders. There are five vacant House seats.

      The Senate’s No. 2 Republican, John Thune, missed Wednesday’s vote because he was not feeling well. His spokesman said Thune, 59, flew back to his state, South Dakota, on a charter flight Wednesday, accompanied by a Capitol Police officer and wearing a mask.

      Reporting by David Morgan and Richard Cowan; Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell, Patricia Zengerle and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis


      NFTA – Metro Bus and Rail Suspending Fare Collection

      To Facilitate Social Distancing, Metro Makes Changes Across the Board

      BUFFALO, N.Y., Metro Bus and Rail is responding to the coronavirus COVID-19 with modifications to increase safety for riders and operators.

      Metro will temporarily suspend fare collection on all bus routes, paratransit service and Metro Rail, beginning Friday, March 27. Because there is no fare collection, passengers will be asked to use rear doors when boarding and exiting buses. Those who have special needs or mobility issues may still use front doors. This change was approved by the NFTA board of commissioners at Thursday’s board meeting.

      These measures will maximize social distancing to help protect employees and riders. Metro continues to follow and promote the advice coming from state and local health care officials and will continue to keep passengers and employees safe during this time of concern.

      Metro Bus and Rail have greatly increased cleaning schedules. Buses, rail cars, rail stations and other locations are subjected to regular deep-cleaning using hospital-grade sanitizing agents. Bus operators have access to disposable gloves and sanitizing wipes to do additional cleaning. Metro also has put cleaners in the field to sanitize buses multiple times throughout the day.

      As a reminder to the public, if you are sick, stay home and please do not use public transportation.

      About the NFTA

      The NFTA is a regional multi-modal transportation authority responsible for airport and surface transportation in Erie and Niagara counties. NFTA/NFTM businesses include a bus, rail and ADA paratransit system, two commercial airports, and transportation centers in Buffalo and Niagara Falls. In 2018, a J.D. Power study ranked the Buffalo Niagara International Airport highest in customer satisfaction for medium sized airports in North America.


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