Here we go again.
The goal of protecting the Great Lakes and spurring economic development in the communities that surround them took a big step forward with the new federal spending bill. The measure addresses several key advocacy priorities of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is a founding member of the GLMCC and I recently traveled to Washington, DC with the group to push for action on many of these issues.
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.
The water is central to Buffalo’s rich commercial history and members of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Logistics & Transportation Council got a first-hand look at how the water is helping to shape Buffalo’s future. Earlier this month, we hosted a Living Industry Boat Tour for members of all four Partnership councils. With a focus on present day industry, commerce and development on the City’s waterways, the tour featured expert speakers who discussed how Buffalo Niagara is utilizing its strategic location along the water to benefit local industry.
President Donald J. Trump enters office with a series of sweeping proposals. But few could have more impact across the Midwest than his plans for a massive transportation infrastructure bill.
An awful lot of economic activity takes place on America’s waterways and Congress came together last week to make sure it continues by passing the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Properly maintaining and investing in America’s water infrastructure is critical considering that each year:
With the Presidential election behind us and President-elect Trump organizing his cabinet, the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition came together to strategically reexamine and further develop its priorities. As a founding member of the Coalition, the Partnership joins nearly 40 chambers of commerce from Great Lakes states, to support economic development in the Great Lakes region. Each year, we advocate for policy initiatives that will ensure the competitiveness of the 12 states and 2 provinces that make up the group.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Great Lakes advocacy work took a big step forward earlier this month when the United States Senate and House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016. The bill authorizes approximately $5 billion in water infrastructure projects, including those critical to the Great Lakes and the Buffalo Niagara region. The Partnership, through its work with the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, has actively advocated for the passage of this bill.
Every April, the federal government begins accepting applications for H-1B visas, which allow highly educated and skilled professionals to work temporarily in the United States.
Again this year, just days after filing opened, the annual cap of 85,000 was reached. Last year, more than 172,000 applications were received in less than a week.
On September 29, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo and the WNY Sustainable Business Roundtable, hosted “Turning Rust to Blue: The Great Lakes New Economy,” a conversation about the role of water as not only our region’s defining asset but also as an economic development driver and critical component of business competitiveness in the 21st century.
Given our status as a founding member of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, maximizing the economic potential of our Great Lakes region while preserving and enhancing the quality of our Great Lakes are two of our top priorities at the Partnership.