Congress and President Trump came together this summer to address a critical component of workforce development and in the process helped the Partnership check off one of our Advocacy Agenda priorities. In late July, the President signed into law a significant update the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.
It’s no secret – New York’s power grid is old. Over 80% of New York’s high-voltage transmission lines went into service before 1980. As outlined in our 2018 Advocacy Agenda, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership supports upgrading New York’s aging power grid and investing in energy infrastructure to help meet our economic goals. As the economic landscape of the Buffalo Niagara region continues to evolve, the importance of affordable, reliable energy remains a constant necessity – which depends, in large part, on the state of our energy grid.
Advocating for employers in Western New York is among the most important commitments the Buffalo Niagara Partnership makes, especially when it comes to workforce development.
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.
Higher education remains one of New York State’s most significant economic sectors. A strong percentage of that activity happens right here in Buffalo Niagara as our region is home to a robust offering of first-class public and independent colleges and universities. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership outlined our support for fully funding the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) in our 2018 Advocacy Agenda as one way to best position our economy to benefit from the impact of local higher education.
Buffalo Niagara employers operate in one of the most highly taxed and overly regulated economic environments anywhere in the country. The Tax Foundation once again ranked New York State has having the second worst business tax climate in the country. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership outlined our priorities for tax relief in our recently released 2018 Advocacy Agenda.
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.
Government policies should bind the United States and New York State closer to Canada, not create false barriers to trade, job creation and economic opportunity.