BUFFALO, NY – The University of Buffalo and the City of Clarence are partnering on two initiatives to improve municipal services and give students the opportunity to learn more about and contribute to local government this.
UB’s partnership with the city is an example of how the university, through its new Office of Economic Engagement (OEE), can provide resources and expertise to help local governments, as well than local businesses.
First, the city, through UB’s Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE), trained approximately 20 employees in Lean Six Sigma practices in 2009. Lean Six Sigma is a data-driven management strategy that aims to increase the performance of an organization or a company. through projects that increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve customer service.
City Supervisor Scott Bylewski said “the rate of return has been very positive” since Clarence adopted the Lean Six Sigma philosophy while working with UB. Bylewski further explained: “The goal is to continually improve the city and the efficiency of government, not only in a big way, but also with little things that can add up.”
Among other improvements, the city has adjusted its fee schedule for parks to better reflect market demands. Outsourcing greenhouse operations, another change, not only saved money, but also allowed the city to increase new plantings. An energy cost reduction plan includes measures like installing digital thermostats in buildings that don’t have them, a simple step that could save thousands of dollars every year.
Satisfied with Clarence’s experience with Lean Six Sigma, Bylewski attended UB Business Partners Day in 2010. There he met Al Hammonds, Deputy Director of Outreach for TCIE and UB’s Office of Economic Engagement (OEE). UB established the OEE in 2009, as part of the university’s UB 2020 strategic plan, to help businesses and other community partners connect and leverage faculty programs, services and expertise. of the University.
Bylewski and Hammonds discussed the wide range of resources available at UB for community partners. The end result of this conversation: Clarence is now working with OEE, UB Career Services, UB School of Management and other academic units to expand the city’s internship program to create opportunities to engage students UB in the work of municipal government.
Janelle Camesano, a student at the UB Professional MBA, who is an intern in the city’s human resources department, is leading the effort. She will act as a sort of internship coordinator for Clarence, meeting with city department heads to assess their needs and using the information from those interviews to create written job descriptions for interns who will likely come from UB. School of Management and Law School.
“This will be invaluable as I will learn more about the application of business practices in a not-for-profit setting and gain a working understanding of city operations,” Camesano said.
Marsha S. Henderson, UB’s vice president of external affairs, said UB’s relationship with Clarence illustrates how OEE “benefits western New York and the university by matching opportunities with resources”.
“Scott’s foresight and leadership were instrumental in creating the partnership between the city and UB,” she said. “When the city wanted to expand its relationship with the university and asked us to facilitate the process, we were happy to do so – developing the plan’s strategy, coordinating the experts and reviewing the details – because we let’s all win when together we help make public services more efficient. “
“UB is a world class institution and Clarence deserves the best possible people with positive attitudes who work together to continue and ensure its prosperity,” said Bylewski, who holds a BA, JD and MBA from university. “We have a great group of employees who work for the city. We have been able to accomplish great things, and I think it makes sense that the two organizations team up to improve both the functioning of the university and from the city. “
For more information on the Office of Economic Engagement and how to access UB resources, visit http://www.buffalo.edu/BusinessEngagement. The office is located in the Downtown Gateway of UB (the former Mr. Wile Building) at 77 Goodell St. in downtown Buffalo.
The University of Buffalo is a leading research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system, and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB’s more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. Founded in 1846, the University of Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.