The Buffalo Niagara region is expected to have annual job growth of nearly 5,200 jobs through 2022. These jobs will be located throughout Erie and Niagara counties across all skill levels and industries. Ensuring a workforce can access these jobs is critical to sustain this growth. These workers will need a variety of transportation options as some will not have the resources for, or access to, a car or may choose not to own one.
While the region often ranks positively for connecting people to jobs by transit in national studies, there remains a segment of the population, as well as employers, who cannot connect easily by transit. Complicating this challenge is the need for second and third shift access.
Addressing this challenge is the focus of Employ Buffalo Niagara’s Access and Transportation Working Group (two other working groups include ALICE and Braiding Funding). The cross-sector group is led by Lori Ferraraccio of Costanzo’s Bakery and Katie O’Sullivan of Go Buffalo Niagara. The initial work has uncovered that many in the community are not aware of the existing transportation resources available to employers, individuals or agencies looking to place individuals in jobs. While simply understanding the current resources available does not address our region’s access issue in and of itself, it may uncover a previously unknown solution to an employer or individual.
Go Buffalo Niagara, a relatively new organization, is committed to helping employers create customized and sustainable transportation solutions for their employees that improve employee health, help the environment, and save employer money. The average cost to construct one surface-level parking spot is $5,000 and the average annual expense to own and operate a vehicle is $8,500 (click to tweet). Given this financial reality, it makes sense to work toward unique solutions that will not only help people get to work, but also help them and their employers save money at the same time. Some of the resources Go Buffalo Niagara provide include:
- Transportation benefits assessments
- Customized marketing materials
- Commuter classes
- Requests for free bike racks
- Individualized solution plans for your company or organization
Employ Buffalo Niagara is excited to have Go Buffalo Niagara as a part of the Access and Transportation working group as its work will be a critical part in creating lasting and effective solutions for employers, workers, and job-seekers in our region.
For more information, or to explore the options of starting a program for your company visit Go Buffalo Niagara at http://gobuffaloniagara.org/.