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.
There are a lot of eyes and ears focused on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) currently ongoing between the United States, Canada and Mexico. Understanding what is at stake, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership called for strengthening our bi-national economy through a NAFTA renegotiation in our 2018 Advocacy Agenda. While the 20-plus year agreement needs modernizing, we are advocating for a ‘do no harm’ approach to protect the vital economic ties between Canada and the U.S. Members of the Partnership’s Manufacturing Council recently met with Canadian government leaders to discuss the value NAFTA brings to our regional economy.
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.
It’s a wrap on another year of state budget negotiations with the Governor and State Legislature reaching agreement before the April 1 deadline.
New York State is home to some of the highest construction costs in the country. The state’s prevailing wage and scaffold laws are two reasons why. That is why the Buffalo Niagara Partnership calls for Scaffold Law reform and opposition to the expansion of prevailing wage in our 2018 Advocacy Agenda.
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.
Buffalo Niagara Partnership members sat down with Canadian government leaders to discuss the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Deputy Consul General Khawar Nasim met with members of the Partnership’s Manufacturers Council as America, Canada and Mexico recently held a seventh round of renegotiation talks in Mexico City. Nasim outlined what Canada is looking for in a new NAFTA agreement and the value of the economic relationship between the three countries.
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.