Work Readiness

    Workforce Readiness Director Contact:

    Laura Devine
    Phone: 716-674-7900

    Workforce Readiness Committee Members  

    • Mindy Cervoni, Labor & Employee Relations at Community Services for the Disabled
    • Sue Czyrny, ADP
    • Heather Okoro, Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Investment Board
    • Andrea Todaro, Inovative Placements

    On March 5th, BNHRA partnered with Erie Community College’s Career Services to provide practice interview opportunities for ECC City campus students. The BNHRA team interviewed 28 individuals and provided feedback to help the students improve their job search skills.

    Thank you to the following BNHRA members, who volunteered their time to help make the event a success:

    Ashley Munzel, Marissa Brown, Ruth Higgins, Mindy Cervoni, Debbie Pierpaoli, Peter Beyette

    BNHRA Workforce Readiness Committee Mission

    Our mission is to form robust partnerships with businesses, New York State, local agencies, and educational institutions to coordinate workforce readiness initiatives impacting the workforce and employers in Western New York.

    What is BNHRA Workforce Readiness?

    BNHRA realizes the importance and the growing impact of workforce readiness in all facets of business, industry, community and education. Workforce Readiness includes the preparation of a qualified workforce through the public schools, vocational and technical colleges, adult education opportunities, remedial employee training, and continuing professional development. Such efforts mandate collaboration between business/industry, local, state, and national government, educators, and the local community. Helping to facilitate the successful collaboration of these stakeholders is the focus of the BNHRA Workforce Readiness Committee.

    Why Focus on Workforce Readiness?

    Workforce Readiness is a core leadership area of SHRM as a result of focus group results identifying significant skills gaps in new entrants, incumbents, and transitional workers in our workforce. With 78 million baby boomers preparing to retire, HR professionals face a major skills shortage that will impact on organization's performance.

    SHRM Future of the US Labor Pool Survey identified the following skills deficiencies:

    • 59% lack overall professionalism
    • 58% lack written communication skills
    • 47% lack analytical skills
    • 44% lack verbal communication skills
    • 36% lack interpersonal skills


    It is the role and responsibility of HR to lead organizations in developing strategies to minimize the labor/skills shortage and recruit and retain quality employees. As strategic HR professionals we can facilitate collaborative relationships between services providers and the business community, streamline access to continuous learning programs, and identify the skills required of the next generation.

    To view the powerpoint presenation from the June 20th Lunch and Learn click here.