Buffalo man changes life around working construction at new Bills Stadium site

BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo resident Jerimiah Ha-Sidi didn’t always have a solid foundation in life.

“I was incarcerated for a gun charge. I did my time and came home,” he said. “My probation officer said I have to go work, school or some kind of training.”

Ha-Sidi said he struggled to find a job. That’s when his search to build a brighter future led him to CAHill Resources’ aQuiRe Construction Academy. He joined its first-ever class.

The program was free, and in two months, he was taught a variety of construction skills.

“All you have to do is show up, do the work, show that you’re devoted to do it and everything else will fall into place,” Ha-Sidi said.

One day, he was offered an interview for a construction job at the new Bills Stadium site.

“I paid $50 to get there on an Uber, $50 to to get back. Next thing I know they told me, be here Monday. Told me to be here at 6:30 a.m. I got there at 6 a.m. and I’ve been there every day since,” he said.

Ha-Sidi is a prime example of what the academy hopes to accomplish: bridging the workforce gap.

“Now I can be a part of something that’s really big in Buffalo. Bills Stadium, we’re all about Bills Mafia,” he said. “The fact I’m able to enjoy building it. I never been to a game at all, I can enjoy the experience of building the stadium. Now I want to go to every game possible and when I drive past it I can say, ‘Hey I helped build that.'”

On Saturday, 62 people graduated from the academy and are ready to utilize the skills they learned during the program.

“Whenever you have an idea that you think is going to help with a problem, it’s not until you get to this moment that you realize other people believe it too. We’re all feeling an enormous amount of gratitude for the participants and all the employers who are excited to put people to work,” said Carly Hill, who is the president and founder of CAHill Tech and CAHill Resources.

“This is a great day. Not only for these graduates but for us as union leaders and union officials in the construction industry. We need more workers as our workers are retiring and aging,” said Sam Capitano, who’s the president of Labors Local 210.

The next program starts May 6.

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Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.

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