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Buffalo Co-Lab

skyline of Buffalo

Buffalo Co-Lab advances an equitable economy and democratic community, collaboratively integrating scholarly and practical understanding to strengthen civic action.

Andrea Thomas

Photo: Andrea Thomas
Buffalo, NY
Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc.
  • Organized an M/WBE (Minority and Women Business Enterprise) development forum for contractors, developers, elected officials and community leaders from the greater Buffalo area.
  • Created a 25-page report that analyzed the M/WBE programs of New York State and Erie County. This report provided legislative history, program logistics for contractors, and an explanation of developer compliance regulations. It highlighted the issues and challenges facing the M/WBE system as well as suggestions for future growth.
  • Created contracting-related documents including:
    • A booklet to assist current and potential M/WBEs with the process of applying for certification, finding bids, building a network, and creating sustainable business practices,
    • A brochure outlining the financial resources available to M/WBEs in Erie County,
    • A guide for developers and prime contractors to navigate the M/WBE system, and meet government compliance laws.
  • Conducted interviews of local prime contractors, subcontractors, and development groups in order to obtain a background for the analysis.
  • Attended various meetings with the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo, specifically focused on workforce development and healthy home initiatives.
  • Assessed the conditions of homes on Buffalo’s Lower West Side for HOCN’s Housing Conditions Survey.

"So here’s to Buffalo, to my final journal entry, to my final night in the NetZero house, to a crazy work project that was crazy successful, to all the support from Lou Jean and Megan, to my elderly swimming ladies at the JCC, to eating cinnamon rolls at Five Points. Here’s to Buffalo, the little (big) city that has captured my life and my heart this summer"

"Andrea’s work with HOCN this summer was truly an extraordinary professional accomplishment, as she researched, wrote, designed and produced a report and guidebook on minority and women business enterprise contracting, while organizing a successful forum for MWBE contractors. . . She did some fine cooking at the NetZero house too!"

Lou Jean Fleron,

Cornell ILR