Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF) President Richard Lipsitz Was Named Vice Chairman of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) Today (Wednesday, July 16th) by a Unanimous Vote – Which Not Only Places Another Feather in the Cap of Organized Labor, But Helps Ensure the ECIDA Will Provide “Good Jobs” Through the Industrial Development Projects it Funds With Taxpayer Dollars.
“It’s Important,” Lipsitz (Pictured Above Listening to Two Area Young Unionists) Told WNYLaborToday.com After This Morning’s Vote. “It Was the (Erie) County Executive (Mark Poloncarz) Who Nominated Me and He Too Understands That the IDA Needs to Help Create ‘Good Jobs’ Through Industrial Investment in the Community. Labor’s Goal Coincides With Community Benefits, ‘Benefits’ That Help ‘Ordinary People’ Make a Good Living – ‘With’ Benefits. That’s What it’s All About.”
Lipsitz, Who’s Served as an ECIDA Board Member For Past 2.5 Years, Was Appointed to the Board by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
Lipsitz Has a Long Union History, Which Stretches Back Into the Mid-70s Here in Western New York. Currently Serving as Teamsters Joint Council No. 46’s Political Action Coordinator, Lipsitz Has Also Held a Number of Local Labor Positions Over the Years - Including Union Steward and Union President, Working Previously With the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Before Joining the Teamsters. He’s Served as President of the WNYALF – Labor’s Area Umbrella Organization That Oversees and Directs Five Individual Labor Councils: Buffalo; Niagara-Orleans; Dunkirk; Jamestown; and Cattaraugus-Allegany – For Nearly Three Years Now.
Lipsitz’s Elevation to Vice Chairman of the ECIDA Came After Brenda McDuffie, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Buffalo Urban League, Was Named Chairman. McDuffie, Lipsitz said, Has “Similar Views” of Organized Labor Regarding the IDA Helping Create “Jobs That Provide a Future,” as Well as Maintaining a Host of Minority and Women Hiring Goals on the Construction Projects Funded by the IDA.
In Addition to Lipsitz, Buffalo AFL-CIO Council President Michael Hoffert Also Holds a Seat on the ECIDA’s Board of Directors.
Working in Tandem, Lipsitz and Hoffert Were Successful Earlier This Year in Pushing Forward a Local Hiring Provision/Workforce Standards Agreement – Which Ensures Local Workers are Hired and Paid Good Wages When the ECICA provides Taxpayer Dollars to Help Fund Major Construction Projects in Erie County (Go to: www.wnylabortoday.com/index.php?src=news&refno=3385&category=Buffalo).
The Two Told Your On-Line Newspaper Back in April That the Workforce Standards Agreement Was a “Tremendous” Economic Development Benefit That Will Work to Create Good-Paying Jobs for Local Workers.
As Representatives of Working People, Lipsitz Also He and Hoffert Support What’s Called Recapture Methods to Reclaim IDA Taxpayers Dollars When “the Hiring Goals of the Project are Not Met” by Funded Developers.
For Example, the Workforce Standards Agreement Will Apply to Veteran Buffalo Developer Mark Croce’s $18.1 Million Hotel/Hospitality Project to Convert the Long-Vacant and Historic Curtiss Building in Downtown Buffalo Into a Boutique Hotel. Croce Recently Received Sales and Mortgage Tax Breaks Totaling $685,000 From the ECIDA, Which Will Help Create a 67-Room, Boutique Hotel, Fine Dining Restaurant, Lounge, Spa and Fitness Center Within the Old Curtiss Building on Franklin Street. The Project is Also Expected to Create 30 New Jobs.