Since March, my thoughts and actions have revolved almost entirely around the impact of COVID-19 on our region, our employers and citizens. And while the state of our new reality has felt overwhelming at times, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership has stepped up to assist in a meaningful way. Our goal to provide up–to–date, clear, concise and trusted information to employers continues to drive our daily work and the appreciation of the business community has kept the BNP team motivated and moving forward.
The very future of our region is dependent upon our ability as a community to come together to bridge the gaps in both racial equity and the future (and current!) workforce needs of employers. Half of our members say workforce is a pain point right now and 75% say it is now or will be in the next two to five years.
This week, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership released a report that takes a closer look at the impact of Buffalo’s renaissance on the downtown housing market. Downtown Buffalo: Looking Ahead with a Clearer View also highlights the success of several economic development programs, including the Buffalo Building Reuse Project (BBRP). The goal of this report is to stimulate conversation and action that will keep Buffalo growing.
There’s not much I can say about Bob Wilmers that has not already been said. He was unassuming with a sharp wit, extreme intelligence and a passion for our community.
Buffalo’s renaissance is here and real. The opportunity for us to thrive as a region of tomorrow depends upon our ability to create equity.
You’d be surprised to learn just how similar Hamilton in Canada is to Buffalo.
A few months ago I was invited to participate in a panel discussion with the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce in Niagara on Lake Ontario. During my visit, I spent time with their chamber’s new incoming CEO, Mishka Balsom.
We know the critical role that immigrants and refugees play in Buffalo Niagara’s workforce and economy.
For instance, last month, I blogged about the importance of easing the H1B Visa Cap as part of a sound, economic development strategy that focuses on the contributions of the foreign-born.
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.
The Partnership had several wins as part of the state budget process.
The New York State Budget is mostly on time this year (officially missing the midnight deadline by just a few hours).