By Tom Kucharski and Jenna Kavanaugh
Over the last 10 years, the Buffalo Niagara region has seen billions in new investment. Our economy has diversified, our entrepreneurial ecosystem has boomed, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus has us positioned to lead in health sciences and innovation, and our cultural investments reflect the changing face of our community.
The Buffalo Niagara resurgence is real and perceptions are starting to change.
However, in order to maintain the current momentum that many employers, residents and community leaders are feeling, it will be critical for our region to take new steps toward securing an even more vibrant, diverse and skilled workforce. With unemployment rates hovering around 4% and the announcement of several hundred new jobs opening in emerging sectors from area businesses, finding the right talent is both essential and challenging.
As a result, Invest Buffalo Niagara is launching a new, collaborative campaign focused on addressing talent gaps in high-skilled jobs. This initiative was developed in response to results from an extensive labor market assessment and substantial research.
To develop the strategy, our organization engaged Ady Advantage – experts in economic growth and diversification – and worked with local employers, member investors, universities and economic development partners. The subsequent strategy has evolved around four core objectives: attract 25- to 35-year-olds back to the region; increase the availability of high-skilled professionals in key occupations within target industry sectors; retain local graduating students in the region, and increase the diversity of talent in the region.
We’re very excited to introduce “Be in Buffalo,” the region’s new talent attraction initiative showcasing the innovative people and inspiring places making our region such a great place to be.
Together with our partners, we’ll be working to introduce, or reintroduce, ambitious young professionals to a Buffalo Niagara they thought they knew – a region still grounded by accessibility, but re-energized with boundless opportunity to help them reach next-level success.
Initially, “Be in Buffalo” will focus on recruiting jobs in key occupations needed to support growing local businesses, such as engineering, finance, health sciences and technology.
Numerous ambassadors have stepped forward to be featured in the campaign, and we’ll be looking for more professionals to share their unique stories of relocation here.
Buffalo has a compelling story to tell. Together, let’s tell it across the country and across the globe.
Tom Kucharski is president-CEO, and Jenna Kavanaugh is chief operating officer, of Invest Buffalo Niagara.