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Buffalo's economy is depressed, right? There are no jobs here, right? Everyone is leaving, right? Wrong!

The Niagara Frontier Industry Education Council, Inc., in conjunction with Erie I BOCES, recently held a career fair at the Four Points Sheraton in Cheektowaga to dispel the myth that the Buffalo Niagara region has no jobs to offer to its emerging youth.

NeXt attended the fair in order to explore the wide variety of career opportunities available in Western New York. We talked with various professionals. Here's what they said:

Position: support position
Place of employment: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Starting salary: Varies upon position
"The best part about working for the FBI is that you are helping the 'good guys,'" says Fanara. The FBI, which has offices in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, employs people from all backgrounds for all types of work. "The FBI isn't just agents; there are also attorneys, financial analysts, engineers, scientists, and technology specialists. The opportunities for employment are endless."

Interested in a career with the FBI? "The most important things you can do to prepare for a career with us is to keep a good credit rating, stay out of trouble with drugs, and obtain a B.A. In addition, three years of professional experience are required."

For more information, go to www.

Position: aerospace engineer
Place of employment: Calspan
Starting salary: low $40,000s
If you enjoy math and science, then aerospace engineering might be the right career for you. Saxer works in Calspan's unique wind tunnel, testing the efficiency of airplanes.

"My job is unique in that Calspan is just one of a few companies to have a wind tunnel as advanced as ours. Western New York has always been at the forefront of aviation, dating back to the early 1900s." There are several companies in the area, like Calspan, that employ aerospace engineers and other types of engineers. A bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering is required for work in this field.

Position: athletic trainer
Place of employment: Catholic Health System
Starting salary: high $20,000s
Athletic training is a growing field, both nationally and here in Western New York. "The responsibilities of an athletic trainer include teaching, strength and conditioning coaching, and training athletes," says Mineo.

"In order to become an athletic trainer, you need a four-year degree in an athletic training program, which is offered at local schools like UB and Canisius, and you need national certification."

For more information go to

Position: account coordinator
Place of employment: Travers Collins & Co.
Starting salary: $22,000 to $26,000
As an account coordinator, Fiorella works within the fields of public relations, communications, and investor relations. She writes annual reports for publicly traded companies. Basically, a job in public relations involves managing the interaction between a company and the community.

"If you are interested in public relations, there are three routes you can choose to obtain your B.A.: communications, journalism, and English." In addition, many companies, like Fiorella's own, offer internships to college students interested in the field.

Not only are there specific companies dedicated to public relations, many businesses have a PR department within their own company. "Locally, opportunities for a career in public relations have grown significantly in recent years."

Position: social worker
Place of Employment: State Sen. Mary Lou Rath's office
Starting salary: Varies upon position
A member of the National Association of Social Workers, Demerest works for Sen. Rath's office, resolving the problems Rath's constituents come across when dealing with various state agencies.

To be a social worker, a bachelor's in social work is required. "Job opportunities within the field are prevalent in Western New York, especially working with the elderly." Surprisingly, the main employers of social workers are businesses and not-for-profit agencies, not the government, she said. "The best part about being a social worker is that each day is different from the last. Plus, it's nice to know that your work really makes a difference."

For more information about these careers and many others, visit, a website sponsored by the state Department of Labor.

Michael Blake is a junior at Canisius.