by Kaitlin Jackson
Thu, Aug 31st 2017 10:00 am
Catholic Charities of Buffalo and the City of Niagara Falls have appointed Jeffrey Pirrone as project director for the Niagara Falls Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative program.
The Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative, or ESPRI, aims to provide workforce training with the end goal being gainful employment for New Yorkers.
“Jeff Pirrone will be an important leader for Governor Cuomo’s $25 million anti-poverty program which promotes public-private partnerships to increase economic mobility for all New Yorkers,” said Howard Zemsky, president, chief executive officer and commissioner of Empire State Development. “Mr. Pirrone will be utilizing his extensive not-for-profit background to create a pipeline of services that will connect people with jobs and job training.”
The initiative was part of the 2016 adopted budget through the efforts of Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State legislative leaders. The city was selected as one of 11 upstate communities to be part of the initiative with a grant of $1.5 million. Catholic Charities of Buffalo was chosen to administer the program.
“Governor Cuomo’s commitment to the ESPRI program is allowing cities like Niagara Falls to create a comprehensive employment training program through local collaboration,” said Paul Dyster, mayor of Niagara Falls. “We are confident that our partnership with Catholic Charities of Buffalo, and Jeff Pirrone’s leadership, will help Niagara Falls residents best compete for employment opportunities in the Western New York economy.”
Prior to coming to Catholic Charities, Pirrone was the supervisor of Mobile Safety-Net Team Community Services. Pirrone held the role since 2009 when he was hired to create and lead the Mobile Safety-Net Team Initiative, which was formed to assist The John R. Oishei Foundation respond to communities in Erie and Niagara counties that were affected by the economic downturn. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in poverty reduction, community and workforce development, racial equity and youth leadership and development to this position.
“Catholic Charities of Buffalo has a long history in working towards poverty reduction, particularly through our high school equivalency and workforce training programs. With nearly a decade’s worth of experience in not only forming but leading a similar program locally, we knew Jeff was the ideal candidate,” said Dennis C. Walczyk, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities. “We are confident in his abilities, and we know he’s prepared to lead the initiative and help those in need in Niagara Falls.
As project director, Pirrone will provide direction, oversight and management of the Niagara Falls Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative Task Force. Pirrone will also assist in fiscal and program managemen
Pirrone has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education/chemistry from Canisius College, and is a graduate of Harvard Business School Club of Buffalo’s Not for Profit Management Program.
Seth Piccirillo, director of Niagara Falls Community Development, said, “The ESPRI Program is building a bridge between our residents and tangible employment. More than offering isolated training, our ESPRI starts with specific and local employment opportunities as the goal. This extraordinarily important effort is best served by Jeff Pirrone’s experience, professionalism and compassion.”
For more information on the Niagara Falls Poverty Reduction Initiative, please contact Pirrone at (716) 282-2351
As the most comprehensive human service provider in Western New York, Catholic Charities makes a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity. Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, Catholic Charities delivers support to meet immediate needs, and then assesses clients for other needs to ensure long-term success.
Catholic Charities offers education and employment services to youths ages 16 to 24 in Niagara County through its Tomorrow’s Youth Today program. Services are offered at: Catholic Charities North Tonawanda location, 1465 Payne Ave.; in Niagara Falls at the Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club, 725 17th St., at Word of Life Ministries, 1941 Hyde Park Blvd., and at the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building Universal, 3001 9th St.; and in Lockport at 450 Bewley Building, Market at Main. For more information, call 694-7749, ext. 218.
Catholic Charities is an excellent steward of the contributions it receives. For five years, Catholic Charities attained the highest-possible rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator for transparency and sound fiscal management. Catholic Charities also receives the highest ratings from the Council on Accreditation for quality service.
For further information, contact Catholic Charities at (716) 218-1400 or go to ccwny.org. You can also check out Catholic Charities on social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.