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Workforce Policy Advocacy

Employ - subpage header -Workforce Policy Advocacy

In our pursuit of regional prosperity, we are constantly reviewing the new legislative workforce policies to ensure they align with employers’ needs, promote economic mobility, and are forward-thinking solutions that address the challenges in our local employment market.

As we look to build a regional economy that works for everyone, you can learn where we stand on key workforce policies and hear how to get involved in our advocacy efforts.

The BNP has identified the following workforce policy priorities as part of our 2022 Advocacy Agenda.

Review our complete 2022 Advocacy Agenda here.

The BNP recently wrote to Governor Hochul to reiterate our workforce policy priorities. Review our letter here.

Earn & Learn

Federal | NYS | Local

• Provide financial assistance to help people access registered and unregistered apprenticeships, credentialing, and other ‘earn & learn’ programs
•Extend the Empire State Apprenticeship Tax Credit program



Support passage of the JOBS Act to expand Pell Grant eligibility to students enrolled in quality, short-term education, and training programs leading to employment in high-demand industry sectors or careers.


Federal | NYS | Local

Support policies to ensure families have access to affordable, reliable, and high-quality childcare.

Higher Education Access

Federal | NYS

•Double the maximum annual Pell Grant award to make college more affordable for low and moderate-income students
•Increase Tuition Assistance Program awards and income eligibility for students and families

Bridging the Benefits Cliff

Federal | NYS | Local

Phase-out income-based benefits gradually to best assist workers advancing into higher-paying positions that eventually lead to economic self-sufficiency and family-sustaining wages.

Creating Opportunities for Reentry

NYS | Local

Reduce legal barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated individuals

Immigration Reform


•Support refugee resettlement in Buffalo Niagara
•Support comprehensive H-1B visa reform that increases the number of high-skilled visas issued and allows Buffalo Niagara to compete for top talent
•Create a place-based visa program allowing holders to compete on the open labor market in designated low-growth regions of the country – like Buffalo Niagara – to infuse skilled immigrants to help reverse demographic decline and revitalize local economies

In addition, the BNP has taken the following advocacy positions on behalf of employers, job seekers, and the goal of strengthening our regional economy:

From the Blog

Navigating Shifting Workplace Norms: Panel Discussion

By | October 12, 2023

The workplace landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace, and staying ahead of the curve is crucial for businesses aiming to attract and retain top talent. In the final session of our 4-part Hidden Talent series, we brought together a panel of industry experts to shed light on these critical shifts and provide actionable insights for employers.

How the U.S. Is Closing the Door to Top Talent

By | August 17, 2023

The BNP organized a Capital Conversations event as part of our Government Affairs series to examine the workings of the H-1B program and explore potential reforms that could strengthen our regional economy.

Successfully Engaging Non-Traditional Talent

By | August 2, 2023

Uncovering and Cultivating Hidden Talent Series: Session 3 – Talent Hiding in Plain Sight

Keeping talent from moving on, by creating pathways to move up

By | May 31, 2023

Uncovering and Cultivating Hidden Talent Series: Session 2 – Talent on the Move

Keeping and growing talent is key to any high-performing organization. But what can you do to keep employees from walking out your door for new opportunities?

Employ Team Participates in Nationally Recognized Programs to Advance Local Initiatives

By | April 13, 2023

Buffalo Niagara Partnership (BNP) team members were selected to participate in two nationally recognized programs to advance Employ Buffalo Niagara and the chamber’s workforce and talent initiatives.

Reaching the Next Generation of Hidden Talent

By | April 6, 2023

Uncovering and Cultivating Hidden Talent Series: Session 1 – Next Gen Talent

As employers, we all know that the job market has changed, which makes it harder to hire and retain quality employees.

Manufacturing TPM: Reaching Important Hiring Milestones

By sethpiccirillo | March 15, 2023

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Manufacturing Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) Collaborative made important career connections in the first quarter of 2023.

TPM: Sizing Up the Right Fit

By | August 18, 2022

What’s it like to work a customer service job at a regional employer with immediate openings? Students from 716 Ministries/Trocaire and the Service Collaborative of WNY found out through a day spent visiting with hiring managers from Univera, National Fuel, Wegmans, and Independent Health.

7.28.22 Webisode: Creating Career Pathways

By | July 29, 2022

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership knows that hiring is the most common pain point amongst all employers right now, and will be for the foreseeable future. We created the Employ Buffalo Niagara Career Pathways Program to help regional companies attract and retain talent in this challenging job market.

Partners on the Career Path

By | June 9, 2022

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership continues to expand the Career Pathways Project as a component of Employ Buffalo Niagara to help connect job seekers to regional careers with tangible growth opportunities. The project was launched in 2021, made possible by a generous grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr Foundation.