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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

TPM: Making Career Connections

By | May 12, 2022

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership continues to expand our Employ Buffalo Niagara Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) program, connecting hiring employers to regional job seekers. The Talent Pipeline Management program is a 1-2 year workshop that brings companies with similar job needs together, sharing their common talent pain-points, communicating new industry expectations and addressing

4.12.22 Webisode: Employing Refugees

4.12.22 Webisode: Employing Refugees – How Employers Can Tap into WNY’s Growing Talent Pool

By | April 15, 2022

Buffalo Niagara continues to welcome refugees from around the world. Many of our newest neighbors come to WNY with skills and experience and are prepared to become a valuable part of your workforce.

Workforce Policy Update March 2022

By | March 8, 2022

The BNP works closely with government leaders to keep them informed of employer challenges and to advocate for policy that would ease the workforce crisis. The BNP supports legislation that expands access to education and training, makes quality childcare more accessible, removes barriers to workforce participation, and reforms our immigration system to meet our region’s workforce needs.

Career Pathways

BNP Career Pathways Build Momentum

By | October 19, 2021

Attracting, retaining, and promoting the right employees continues to challenge employers in every sector of the Western New York economy. As we all navigate COVID-19-related changes to the workplace, new workforce development and advancement tools will be needed to move our region forward.

9.28.21 Advocacy Alert: NYS To Raise Minimum Wage

By | September 28, 2021

The New York State Department of Labor announced a forthcoming increase in the minimum wage across upstate New York.

On December 31, the minimum wage in our region will rise to $13.20 per hour, a 70-cent increase from the current rate.

Creating Career Pathways

By | July 19, 2021

How can we connect a job seeker to an employment opportunity that can lead to a long and rewarding career?