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Welcome to Statler Center

Training Calendar 2015

Business Fundamentals Training

               Buffalo, NY --    May 7-June 10

Contact Center Training

               Buffalo, NY --    June 11-July 10

Hospitality Training

               Buffalo, NY --   June 11-July 17

Openings exist for each of the upcoming programs. If you or someone you know would be able to take advantage of our unique training, NOW is a great time to contact us.

Go to “How to Apply for Enrollment” at or contact Patrick Keyes at 716-888-4526 or or Elizabeth Schmidt at 716-888-4635 or

Statler Heads to TexasStudents taking inbound calls as part of Statler training in El Paso

This past August, Statler Center staff members had the opportunity to undertake a unique training opportunity in El Paso, Texas. Working in conjunction with Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, Statler staff conducted an intensive 2-week customer service training program aimed at providing training and experience in skilled Tier-1 type customer service representative work.

Over the course of the El Paso training program, 11 blind and visually impaired students completed an array of classes specifically designed to provide training in the skills necessary for success in today’s customer service environment. Thanks to Statler’s travelling computer lab, our El Paso students were able to study and learn in conditions identical to those of students at our main training facility in Buffalo, New York. This computer lab also doubled as a remote contact center, enabling the students to gain invaluable hands-on experience in their field of interest.

Students advanced their skills in Microsoft Outlook; participated in lectures and role play scenarios in Customer Service Concepts; honed their active listening and note taking skills in Written Communication; and learned new terminology, skills, and concepts in Contact Center Operations. As the final step in their training, students used Avaya IP Agent software to both make outbound and take inbound calls. These inbound calls were largely made by Statler graduates working in our Buffalo contact center, and they were thrilled to have to have the chance to interact with, and give experience to, our newest generation of students. 

Hotel operations. Travel and tourism. Communications.   How may we be of service to you?

Staff picture in lobby of the Statler MansionStatler Center was founded in 1999 as a unique concept in hospitality and customer service employment training. One of the first projects of its kind, Statler Center provides physically disabled, blind or visually impaired individuals with the right tools for successful careers. Our job training programs are a unique and exciting concept in employment and training that provides individuals with visual impairments or physical disabilities with the right tools for successful careers in a rapidly growing industries such as hospitality, customer service and contact centers. Statler Center is a program of Olmsted Center for Sight.

Serving an Industry

The multi-trillion dollar, global industry of hospitality services hinges on one thing: people. The right people make the industry what it is. Friendly. Responsive. Dependable.

The hospitality industry is known for the amazing diversity of its work force, and the variety of positions it has to fill. Statler Center provides in-depth skills training, and job preparation services, to working age adults who are visually impaired and/or physically disabled and interested in pursuing permanent employment in the hospitality industry.

82% Placement Rate!

Statler Center’s job placement staff works intensively with Statler students and graduates through the entire job search process. “Our impressive success rate is the result of our partnerships with industry leaders,” said Mary Ellen Mest, Placement Specialist.

Currently, Statler Center's placement rate is 82%. The placement staff works with students until placement goals are achieved, and then continues to work with students throughout their careers. “We are a program for careers in hospitality service,” said program consultant, Dan O’Brien. “We want our graduates to continue to grow and develop in the hospitality industry.”

Through industry contacts Statler Center makes inroads for graduates to obtain referrals and interviews. In addition, the placement department assists with job search activities, resume and cover letter development and distribution, job interviewing and follow-up training and anything else needed to ensure a smooth and speedy job placement.

The placement department at Statler Center also provides assistive technology support, temporary equipment loans, and job coaching to fully ensure our graduates are completely productive and independent with their respective responsibilities. Often Statler Center will provide Braille displays, screen reading, or text enlargement software and install or customize it for graduates until their permanent equipment arrives. This ensures a speedy and convenient job placement for all parties involved.

Our placement policy is parallel to standards at accredited Colleges and Universities, Statler Center’s placement rate is calculated by dividing the number of employed graduates by the total number of graduates. Statler Center defines "placed" as: a graduate who has either obtained a paid position or a student who is continuing his or her education. Graduates are allotted six months after graduation for an employment search, after which time unemployed graduates who are not continuing education will be counted as not placed. A graduate experiencing a health issue that incapacitates his or her ability to work will be factored out of the rate altogether until he or she is medically able to work. Once a graduate meets the criteria of placed for a total of at least three months that person will remain permanently in Statler Center’s placement rate as placed.

Serving a Community

As recently as two decades ago, competitive job options for the blind and visually impaired were virtually non-existent. Current advances in modern technology have helped to open today a world of possibilities never before dreamed.

Statler Center features:

  • A comprehensive curriculum specially adapted to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.
  • Qualified, professional staff specially trained in working with the visually impaired.
  • Access to state-of-the-art computers and industry-specific software.
  • A modernized, well-equipped facility.
  • Hands-on work experience in the student’s field of choice.
  • Follow-up advisement after a student has secured employment in the field to help ensure his or her long-term success.

Statler Center offers two curriculum modules. The ten week program focuses on customer service in the hospitality industry. The seven week program focuses on customer service for contact centers, financial and medical offices, transportation and communications industries.

Our curriculum was developed in partnership with Johnson & Wales University, the world’s premier hospitality educational institution. In addition, Statler Center is a New York State proprietary business school, certified by the state department of education.

Graduates of our programs are computer literate and job-ready, equipped with a thorough knowledge of industry standards in hotel operations, front office procedures, sales and marketing, and customer service. Hospitality students also participate in meaningful work experience in their field of choice. The Statler Center’s job-readiness training and follow-up advisement helps students become, and remain productive, valued employees.

High school or equivalency graduates who are visually impaired or physically handicapped may be eligible for enrollment. 

Serving a Purpose

Innovative answers to the challenges that a vision impairment can present is what Olmsted Center for Sight is about. Statler Center is just one of the agency’s many programs and services that help people with impaired sight lead independent, productive lives. Since its inception in 1907, Olmsted Center for Sight has been a leader in quality services for the blind and visually impaired. Rehabilitation training, low vision rehab services, employment assistance, housing, early education program--just the start. To learn more, call 716-882-1025.