Invest Buffalo Niagara Releases Labor Market Findings to Drive Business Attraction

Release date: 2/2/2017

Four reports yield insights on strategies for attracting new businesses to the region, and addresses challenges and opportunities for employers

BUFFALO, NY – TodayInvest Buffalo Niagara—the nonprofit, privately-funded economic development organization representing the eight counties of Western New York—released a suite of reports entitled the 2017 Labor Market Assessment. Information from these reports will be used for business and talent attraction initiatives.

“Assessing the state of our current labor market is vital for attracting additional investment and jobs,” said Tom Kucharski, president and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara. “For nine months, we collected and analyzed data so that we can provide accurate, timely and objective local labor market information to businesses considering an investment – and align workforce training with the needs of our existing employers. We are committed to doing the research, so we can be educated and strategic as we support the growth of our economy.”

The goal of the 2017 Labor Market Assessment is to ensure companies considering operations in the Buffalo Niagara region are given the tools to be connected to a qualified and affordable workforce. The assessment includes objective analysis and detailed information on topics such as:

·       What does our economy look like?
·       How is our economy changing?
·       What is the regional demand for labor?
·       What are wages in the region?
·       How are target industries performing?

The 2017 Labor Market Assessment is a suite of four reports that explore the region’s labor market:

·       Who’s Our Economy? – Reviews the region’s economy, labor force, trends, target industries and a comparison of each factor for the region’s eight counties.
·       Where Are Our Opportunities? – Explores underemployment, labor availability, the landscape of workforce training, and credential building for high-demand jobs in the region’s target industries.
·       What Role Does Labor Management Play? – Offers a look at labor management relations trends and best practices from within the region.
·       How Competitive Are Payroll Costs? – Presents information on wages, payroll trends and employee benefits in Buffalo Niagara.
The four reports were developed as the result of a regional labor market study commissioned by Invest Buffalo Niagara and conducted by the University at Buffalo Regional Institute. Findings were bolstered by input and insights from a Project Advisory Group representing employers, economic and workforce developers, human resources, organized labor and other leaders.

Findings were also compiled through a survey distributed to employers throughout the eight counties of Western New York. The survey included feedback from business leaders in key industries spanning the counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming. The last time Invest Buffalo Niagara released the Labor Market Assessment was 2010. A new component of the study is the “Where Are Our Opportunities?” report, which investigates labor availability variables in the region’s target industries.

The Labor Market Assessment was unveiled at an event at Templeton Landing, featuring a keynote presentation by the University at Buffalo Regional Institute and overview of peer cities’ talent attraction initiatives by Ady Advantage.

Sponsors for the 2017 Labor Market Assessment included National Fuel, National Grid, New York Power Authority, ECIDA, Say Yes Buffalo, Niagara USA Chamber and Niagara County Center for Economic Development.

“This report is a valuable not only for companies new to the region, but also those currently operating here,” said Randy Clark, chairman of Invest Buffalo Niagara. “We’ve identified challenges currently being experienced by employers and opportunities for those employers in the future as they seek out high-quality talent for their workforces.”

“University at Buffalo Regional Institute was excited to partner with Invest Buffalo Niagara to update and expand upon the labor market assessment we completed in 2010,” stated Sharon Ana Entress, Associate Director of Research.  “We look forward to seeing how the findings in 2017 Labor Market Assessment will be used by Invest Buffalo Niagara and other stakeholders to continue to grow the regional economy and align business and workforce development strategies.”

“The New York Power Authority is proud to be a sponsor of such an important initiative for the economic development of Western New York,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “This study will better position the Buffalo-Niagara region to meet the challenges of the future through a well-trained labor force.”

“Attracting investment and jobs to a community can only be successful when we are able to identify and attract the talent to fill those jobs,” said Art Hamlin, Economic Development for National Grid in New York.  “National Grid is committed to helping the communities we serve grow, and this labor market assessment will aid the Buffalo Niagara region in that effort.”

“A talented and fully-trained workforce is critically important for strong, sustainable and balanced growth across Western New York,” said Carl M. Carlotti, president of National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation. “The Buffalo Niagara Labor Market Assessment helps to provide leaders with emerging regional trends to better align and advance business development strategies. At National Fuel we have always believed that our strongest asset is our highly-productive workforce, thus supporting the efforts of Invest Buffalo Niagara and the Labor Market Assessment is a natural fit.”

“The ECIDA partnered with Invest Buffalo Niagara as a major sponsor on this effort because current workforce data is critical to aligning regional economic development efforts,” said Steve Weathers, president and CEO of ECIDA. “ECIDA Board Chair Brenda McDuffie and Vice Chair Richard Lipsitz served on the advisory committee, and it’s our mission to help create a thriving job market for the residents of Erie County.”


Invest Buffalo Niagara is the area’s leading private sector economic development and business attraction organization, focused on research, marketing, and business development outreach.  With exceptional community connectivity, Invest Buffalo Niagara’s staff provides comprehensive services and project management for companies looking to expand or relocate.  From research all the way through ribbon-cutting, Invest Buffalo Niagara is the primary point of contact for economic development in the eight-county Buffalo Niagara region.  Learn more: