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Jobs training program keeping clients off welfare

Orlando Perez founded Skyview
WBFO News file photo
Orlando Perez founded Skyview

A learning center in Buffalo that is allowing citizens to get off of welfare is considering expansion. 

Skyview Learning on Delaware Avenue is transforming lives with job training and partnering with area employers. 

Skyview's founder tells WBFO News about how this program maintains such a high successful rate for job placement among its clients.

"We've been able to maintain a 90% success rate," said  Orlando Perez.  He founded Skyview more than three years ago.

Last year WBFO News met with Perez and a Skyview client.  A signal mother -- who had been on welfare -- was able to gain jobs skills and a new position.  One year later she is still employed at a call center in Cheektowaga.  Perez is thrilled that she has remained off the welfare rolls.

"No more food stamps, no more Medicaid.   She is what I would consider totally self-sufficient.

Skyview receives funding from the Workforce Investment Board as well as the state labor department. But now Perez is lobbying hard to  get the city, county, state and federal governments on board, in a bi-partisan effort, to tackle unemployment so that he can open more job training sites in the Buffalo area.  

Although many of the jobs Skyview places clients in are so called "back-office" jobs. Perez says some of his clients are earning up  to $13.00 an hour, one even landed a job at $21.00.