The safe and efficient movement of goods, services and people is at the core of our economy. Government at all levels must be willing to prioritize critical long-term investments, as well as support private projects producing real economic benefit. Included in this is upgrading New York’s aging power grid and developing the state’s natural gas transmission system. Both priorities are a part of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s 2018 Advocacy Agenda.
Buffalo Niagara’s economic growth is being challenged by our inability to place qualified employees in existing job openings and develop a strong pipeline of trained workers for the job opportunities we know are on the horizon. In fact, in the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Member Pulse Report, our members identified difficulty in finding and retaining qualified talent as a top concern.
The recent population growth in the Buffalo Niagara region has largely been the result of immigrants and refugees. Tapping into the skills this population brings with them will help address our region’s growing workforce development struggles. That is why the Buffalo Niagara Partnership prioritized creating a state professional licensing program for immigrants and refugees as part of our 2018 Advocacy Agenda.
Buffalo Niagara employers are committed to providing their employees with affordable healthcare, but the cost of doing so continues to climb. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership supports comprehensive access to coverage without imposing new regulations and fines on employers. Last year, 75% of Buffalo Niagara Partnership members who participated in our annual survey indicated that they experienced healthcare cost increases. That is why advocating for lower healthcare costs is one of the Partnership’s 2018 Advocacy Agenda priorities.
New employer mandates emanating from Albany are a burden on Buffalo Niagara employers. However well intentioned, these mandates fail to recognize the negative impact they have on both employers and employees. That is why fighting back against these detrimental mandates is one of the Partnership’s 2018 Advocacy Agenda priorities.
We may be in the middle of winter, but it is never too early to start thinking (dreaming?) of summer. Summer is a time for baseball games, relaxing on the beach and walks along the Canalside. Summer is also a time that many employers start to think about bringing on summer help in the form of unpaid internships. Unpaid internships are often thought of a place where young individuals can get their feet wet in a new industry and an employer can get some free labor. However, unpaid internships have often lead to employers getting into legal hot water when a court determines that an intern should not have been unpaid after all. This may change under new guidance from the United States Department of Labor.
Benjamin Franklin once said that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Let’s avoid a conversation about death and instead concentrate of the (slightly) less gruesome of certain things: taxes.
For most of us January 1, 2018 means a fresh batch of New Year’s resolutions we almost certainly will (not) keep this year. January 1 also happens to be the effective date of New York’s Paid Family Leave regulation (PFL). Unfortunately, unlike that resolution to lose weight or learn to play the mandolin, this is one resolution you will be required to keep. Fortunately, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is here to help with a PFL cheat sheet.
The New York Department of Labor has proposed changes to New York’s on-call regulations that could significantly impact the way many Buffalo Niagara employers manage their operations, particularly how they schedule part-time hourly employees.