For years, we have written about the disinvestment that our region has had in its transportation network. Unmaintained roadways, bridges in disrepair and a limited public transit system, hindered by a lack of operating and capital improvement funds. These conditions have been a challenge to our economy, our workforce and our quality of life.
At the end of March, teams from the regional chambers of commerce in Hamilton, the Niagara Region in Ontario and Buffalo Niagara convened for strategic planning discussions on maximizing the value of our truly unique binational agreement. Each chamber recognizes the exciting opportunity we collectively have to facilitate the growth of a economic region that spans the border of the world’s largest trading partners.
In December, Washington passed the much-debated Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which brought sweeping changes to the tax structure for individuals and companies in the United States. For many, this bill represented a potential turning point for the American economy.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Diversity & Inclusion Council is rolling out its work plan and implementing steps toward its initial goals and objectives. These include:
This week, the City of Buffalo released its highly anticipated Housing Opportunities Strategy. This project, initiated in early 2016 by nationally-renown urban revitalization consultants, czb LLC, is a comprehensive review of the City’s housing market with an eye towards conditions impacting housing access for citizens and promoting affordability within its product. The goal of the report is to accurately define the challenges of housing access and advocate for effective strategies to address those challenges.
Empire State Development Corporation has been a partner and leader in the revitalization of the Buffalo Niagara region. New York State’s economic development arm has been a central pivot for collaboration through the Regional Economic Development Council and a key organizing agency for our area’s priorities in public investment to stimulate new private growth. Beyond the agency’s support for signature projects such as Riverbend’s Tesla gigafactory and the Northland Workforce Training Center, Empire State Development offers a number of ongoing programs aimed at incrementally growing key sectors of the Buffalo Niagara economy.
Urban revitalization in Western New York isn’t exclusive to the City of Buffalo. Throughout the region, smaller cities and villages are reinvesting in their urban cores, establishing live, work and play environments. These efforts are capitalizing upon uniquely historic building stocks and an inherent character that can’t be authentically recreated in new, built-from-scratch communities.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s five Economic Councils help sharpen our focus on key industries driving our regional economy and the issues most important to local employers.
This past month, Buffalo saw the approval of a number of significant development projects in its neighborhoods, including 1111 Elmwood, a mixed-use redevelopment of the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues. These projects implement the smart growth principles that our city and our region have prioritized; fostering sustainable new investment on urban sites already served by infrastructure and public services.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership has announced the Solving the Talent Challenge: 2017 Manufacturing Month Summit, an informative event on the Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) system, to be held on October 12, 2017.