New training program seeks to bolster building trade ranks

November 29, 2017


Buffalo News Reporter

A new city initiative designed to recruit more people from low-income and minority neighborhoods to work in the construction trades is slowly adding to the ranks of the region's union apprentices.

The new Pre-Apprentice Training Program was created as part of a "project labor agreement" that the Buffalo Urban Development Corp. signed in June with the Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council to support the Northland Corridor project on the city's East Side.


Financial giant BlackRock, Thurman Thomas' 3480 Group among newest Start-Up NY companies in Buffalo

February 24, 2017

Buffalo News Editor

A global money management firm with an Amherst data center and a small company co-founded by Bills Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas were accepted into the state's Start-Up NY program, which lowers or eliminates most state taxes for 10 years for businesses that agree to create jobs.

BlackRock promises to create 50 jobs at its data center at 350 CrossPoint Parkway in CrossPoint Business Park. That figure includes 25 jobs the company previously pledged to create there when it was granted tax breaks by the Amherst Industrial Development Agency.


Source: The Buffalo News

Another Voice: Buffalo can accomplish much by working together

February 14, 2017

3480 Group Founder

Life comes at you fast in the NFL – and I took plenty of hard knocks during my days with the Bills. But even after those years on the gridiron, I have learned a lot of new lessons about dealing with the challenges that come with running a construction company.

When my wife, Patti, and I founded 3480 Group, our construction and telecommunications firm, I soon realized that it would take more than toughness to build the strong foundation we needed. However, this experience has also taught me about what our Buffalo community can accomplish when we work together to achieve shared goals of economic growth, job creation and the advancement of minority- and women- owned business enterprises (MWBEs).


Source: The Buffalo News

Thurman Thomas firm part of development team for Northland project

September 27, 2016

Buffalo Business First Reporter

The Buffalo Urban Development Corp. has officially awarded the construction management contract to a team led by Gilbane Building Co.

The deal creates a cornerstone project for an emerging construction-based firm headed by former Buffalo Bills Thurman Thomas and Flip Johnson and potentially opens the door for the firm to create a larger local presence.



Source: Biz Journals

Gilbane, Thurman Thomas firm, hired for Workforce Training Center project

September 27, 2016

Buffalo News Reporter

The nonprofit quasi-city agency overseeing development of the Northland Corridor light-industrial hub on Tuesday hired a team led by Gilbane Building Co. and Thurman Thomas’ 3480 Group as the construction managers for the project’s new Workforce Training Center.

The board of the Buffalo Urban Development Corp. voted overwhelmingly in favor of approving a contract with Rhode Island-based Gilbane for the East Side construction project, whose total cost is estimated at $45 million to $50 million.


Source: The Buffalo News

Buffalo Bills legend Thurman Thomas on keeping businesses in NY & the Bills' 2016 fortunes

Aug 02, 2016

Buffalo Reporter

People across the nation may recognize the name Thurman Thomas, but in Western New York the Hall of Fame running back, who spent nearly his entire NFL career with the Buffalo Bills, is a legend. Thomas, who has remained in the Buffalo area since retiring in 2000, is now looking to bring a different kind of game to the community he has called home for more than a quarter century. He and his business partners have moved the headquarters of their 3480 Group, a design and build firm that creates wireless networks in both new builds and renovations, from Atlanta to Buffalo. City & State’s Justin Sondel spoke with Thomas about his decision to stay in Buffalo, moving his business to New York and, of course, football.


Source: City & State New York

Bills legend Thurman Thomas makes run at new career in construction

July 16, 2016

Buffalo News Reporter

Years after leaving the NFL, Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas is making a run at a new career operating a construction company.

Thomas, who lives in Western New York, partnered with a former Buffalo Bills teammate, wide receiver Fulton “Flip” Johnson, to form 3480 Group, a construction and engineering firm that specializes in telecommunications and handles other jobs.

The small startup company, founded two years ago, has mostly operated in the Southeast, particularly the Atlanta area, where Johnson lives, as well as in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, but is now seeking to make inroads in upstate and Western New York after moving its headquarters to Buffalo.

And it is counting on a new relationship with Gilbane Building Co., one of the world’s biggest construction companies, to help it grow, including by bringing in 3480 Group on some of its projects as a subcontractor for specific tasks.


Source: Buffalo News

Venture capitalist Steve Case invests time and money in Buffalo visit

Sep 30, 2015

Buffalo News Reporter

The bus is nice. Quite nice, really, with soft leather seats, a master suite, flat-screen TV and a Keurig coffee maker on standby. If you were a campaigning politician or a rock band on tour, the accommodations would be pretty plush.

But if you’re a billionaire businessman who can afford mansions and jets and presumably an island, this isn’t luxury. Spending a dozen or more hours a day in a vehicle crammed with a revolving cast of two-dozen visitors? Stopping in Northeastern cities in late September? Committing to drop $100,000 in each city?

It’s not a billionaire-like way to spend a week. But it’s how Steve Case is spending his week.

The AOL founder and venture capitalist brought his week-long Rise of the Rest Tour to Buffalo on Wednesday, visiting a variety of start-up and small businesses and developments, then culminating the day with a pitch competition. The winner of that evening contest was to receive a $100,000 check from Case.

That happened – and then something a little more happened, too.


Source: Buffalo News

Wendel partners with former Bills' star Thomas

Sep 8, 2015


Buffalo Business First Reporter

Wendel, one of the region’s largest engineering firms, has formed a partnership with a project management firm headed by a pair of former Buffalo Bills including Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas.

The Amherst-based Wendel entered what it described as a “strategic alliance” with the 3480 Group. The 3480 Group is run by Thomas (who wore No. 34 for the Bills) and Fulton “Flip” Johnson, a wide receiver who wore No. 80 for the Bills.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two firms will collaborate on project management, design and technology.

“Having 3480 as a partner is a great opportunity for us,” said Stewart Haney, Wendel president and chief executive officer.

The 3480 Group’s forte is in the telecommunications and broadband Internet communications field. Wendel has a wide array of engineering and architectural services in its portfolio.

Johnson, 3480 Group’s chief executive officer, said the partnership opens new development opportunities for both firms.

“We have so many synergies, from renewable energy, to working with municipalities, and expanding the potential for new solutions within the industry,” Johnson said.

Thomas, 3480 Group’s president, agrees.

“Working with Partner companies like Wendel is becoming a ‘best practice’ for 3480 Group,” Thomas said. “It allows us to provide a larger portfolio of services to our potential customers,” he said.

Source: Biz Journal