As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Buffalo Niagara region is experiencing a workforce shortage that hinders the rebound of our economy. In this year’s Upstate NY Business Leaders Survey, 54% of surveyed CEOs in the Western NY region felt there was not an ample supply of workers to meet their needs. The BNP recognizes the harm this shortage does to our economy and is committed to working with employers and our partners in local, state, and federal governments to address them.
Recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released the America Works Agenda, a set of policy recommendations to address the workforce shortage.
The first focus of USCOC’s approach is addressing skills gaps by forming employer collaboratives and sector partnerships. Doing so allows industries to collect and track labor data, streamline training programs, and ensure that their industry will have a reliable workforce.
The BNP is in the process of restarting our Talent Pipeline Management employer collaboratives to help employers reach workforce goals and establish a pipeline of talent that is aligned with a company’s specific requirements. For more information on the restart of this project, visit our website.
Additionally, USCOC recommends supporting educational and job training efforts, such as Pell Grant expansion and Earn-and-Learn programs that the BNP has supported in our Advocacy Agenda. They also suggest that employers provide transparent data on educational programs and career pathways so that potential employees can make informed decisions to set themselves up for success. The BNP will be releasing details soon about facilitating Career Pathway programs in our region.
Finally, the USCOC suggests prioritizing the removal of barriers to entering the workforce by pursuing reforms to childcare benefits, criminal history consideration, occupational licensing, and immigration. The BNP has advocated for numerous reforms at all levels to eliminate these barriers and create economic opportunity for all.
To read USCOC’s full America Works Agenda, visit their site here.