Promoting STEM Jobs to Support a Growing Economy

iSciWNY bring STEM Program to Buffalo Public Schools

iSciWNY brings STEM Program to Buffalo Public Schools

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is now home to more than 100 companies that will employ approximately 17,000 workers by 2017.  IBM recently announced the creation of 500 new Buffalo-based IT jobs to develop next generation software in the areas of molecular research, genomics, energy efficiency development and defense.  New York State announced SolarCity GigaFactory will be located at the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend.  And Genesee County is aggressively marketing its 1,279-acre, shovel-ready site developed to support large scale SEMI and nanotechnology-based R&D and manufacturing.  These and other developments are shaping our community.

Our region boasts a productive and talented workforce inspired by challenge and change. But with an aging population, it is crucial that we continue to cultivate a workforce able to grow lock- step with these new opportunities.  STEM positions offer a lucrative field for those evaluating a career, with an average starting salary of $50,000. Programs like iSciWNY and Dream It Do It! continue to place emphasis on developing our region’s workforce from grade school through college.

Genome Day is a wonderful example of a local initiative that will help shape young minds.  Taking place during Science Week on March 17, 2015, the University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute will host 400 7th and 8th grade students from the Buffalo Public Schools where UB graduate students and post doctorates will lead a series of activities that promote genomic and bioinformatics literacy.

This initiative is a collaboration between BPS, SUNY and the City of Buffalo, led by Norma Nowak, PhD, executive director at UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, a pioneer in the field of human genomics and Sandra Small, PhD, representing workforce development for iSciWNY.  Students will have the opportunity to extract their own DNA and take it home in a necklace using Bio-Rad’s “Genes in a Bottle” kit; complete a karyotyping activity to look at chromosomal differences to identify a disease; and to promote understanding of DNA structure, create and take home an origami model. Finally, the students will have the opportunity to identify mutations by interpreting sequences from healthy and tumor cells.

What other ideas and great programs do you know of that are connecting students to STEM careers?  Comment below.


by Jenna Kavanaugh, Director, Marketing & Communications

A “Gold” Moment for Buffalo

With a high energy crowd, Advertising Club of Buffalo celebrated some of Buffalo’s leading advertising and design work last week at the 2015 Western New York Addy Awards. Congratulations to all! And Special Kudos to John Paget and team for Next Things Now: Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Buffalo, Gold recipient.

After watching the video again, I’m looking forward the launch of the next 43North competition!

The Buffalo Billion Evolution

Sunset Downtown Buffalo, New YorkPhotographer: Douglas Levere

Sunset Downtown Buffalo, New YorkPhotographer: Douglas Levere

The change in Buffalo Niagara’s collective psyche and economy – a renewed optimism, cranes in the air, and growth of new and existing businesses – is not a figment of our imaginations.  The after-effect of the “Buffalo Billion” is tangible and much-deserved credit goes to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s investment in Western New York’s future.

From downstate all the way to Asia, Buffalo Niagara is benefiting from a renewed interest and greater appreciation of our assets.  Our affordable workforce, infrastructure, low-cost power, educational institutions and enviable location have been promoted by BNE since its inception 16 years ago.  The Buffalo Billion was the shot in the arm that our region needed, and where preparation met opportunity.  And the momentum it has created, the change in attitude from within and without, must be sustained. Thanks to thoughtful planning and execution, that is an attainable goal.

The involvement of local universities in the development of start-ups has the potential to retain and attract highly educated graduates and create jobs for some of the talented 25 – 34 year olds who left for greener pastures.  I don’t know a single parent who wouldn’t be pleased to have their kids come back, and now that is more than a pipedream.

Cooperation among counties, including IDAs and elected officials, is another positive outcome.  The BNE has been involved with and provided support for many of the Buffalo Billion’s initiatives, and we will continue to build on strategies such as smart growth, diversity, and workforce development, working cooperatively with nearby regions.

It’s no accident that Buffalo Niagara caught the Governor’s attention and earned his trust and investment. More than a decade of hard work, cooperation and thoughtful planning are paying off in dividends that can and will sustain this positive momentum and become of a model for the rest of the state to follow.

by Tom Kucharski, President & CEO

If We Develop It

The latest report from the CBRE Buffalo office sets industrial vacancy rates at a record-low, 4.5%. On the plus side, we can celebrate the fact that there is growing interest in relocating or expanding a business in Buffalo Niagara.  On the minus side, our inventory of existing commercial real estate, especially in the industrial market, is shrinking.  Large, modern, open facilities with high ceilings and other industrial amenities are difficult to identify in any western New York market. Now is the time for local developers to turn their attention to this pressing lack of industrial inventory.

Spec space can be challenging and partially leased space has been difficult to impossible to finance since the recession. While spec space can be a risky and costly endeavor, properly done, it could benefit both the developer and the Buffalo-Niagara region.

Preparing an industrial site for development can take months, maybe years. This means looking both within, and beyond, the city limits, identifying potential parcels that will suit a manufacturing business’s substantial needs — like access to transportation, low cost power, water, parking and more.

The recent spotlight on Buffalo Niagara has led to even more attention from site selectors. Thanks to our industrial past, there is an available and affordable workforce, attractive to out-of-market manufacturers. But without the real estate, our region is going to miss out on golden opportunities that translate to jobs lost for both younger and older workers.

by Steve Blake, CCIM  Partner, CBRE|Buffalo


UB CMI – Connecting Advanced Manufacturers to Solutions

Manufacturing remains the third largest employment sector in Buffalo Niagara, representing 50,000 employees and $6.3 billion in gross regional product. To grow and remain competitive, companies require assistance and assets to innovate, update their business models, develop new products to enter emerging markets, and enhance manufacturing capabilities.

Established in 2012, UB’s NYS Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI) is a community-based resource to help manufacturing firms grow. With a designated business development executive and more than 50 affiliated faculty members, CMI has assisted more than 100 companies in Buffalo Niagara. Across the industry sectors of advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and life sciences, CMI facilitates access to shared equipment, high-performance computing, funding sources and exceptional research and development capabilities.

CMI works with companies of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune 500 – they understand the processes, products, and programs that drive success. As business development executive, Chris Janson explains,

“Each company and opportunity is unique. When they explain their situation we listen and then customize a solution that best fits their needs. Every day I connect companies with UB’s vast R&D assets and cultivate relationships between industry and the material scientists who are making the next great breakthroughs in technology. And, if we don’t have the right capabilities in-house, we will connect them with valuable members of the ecosystem and collaborative resources.”

Buffalo Niagara offers many benefits to advanced manufacturers such as skilled workforce and low-cost power, but tools like CMI elevate the strength of our region.  CMI, along with Insyte Consulting, World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, and EWI is a leading partner in Buffalo Manufacturing Works, one of Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiatives. Together, they will help companies with applied R&D, market expansion, and process improvement. BNE proudly promotes these resources to companies looking to expand here; demonstrating our region’s commitment and expertise in this industry.

If you are ready to develop or improve your products and services and bring your industry-changing ideas to market contact:

Christopher Janson

Business Development Executive


Watch this video to discover what the CMI can do for you:

by Jenna Kavanaugh, BNE Marketing Director

WNY NYSCAR Awards Highlights Regional Momentum

A staple in Buffalo’s commercial real estate community is the annual awards dinner for the WNY Chapter of the New York State Commercial Association of Realtors (WNYNYSCAR). The best attended event across all of New York’s regional groups, the dinner allows for brokers, realtors, and commercial real estate service providers the opportunity to network and honor their peers. This year’s awards ceremony took place just over a week ago and reflected the great opportunity and momentum happening in Buffalo’s real estate community. Winners included:

  • Meritorious Service Award: Michael Schmand, Buffalo Place Inc. executive director. Chosen for his, and Buffalo Place’s, dedication to make Buffalo’s central business district a thriving neighborhood with amenities and activities for all to enjoy.
  • Stuart Hunt Lifetime Achievement Award: V. Jeffrey LiPuma, immediate past managing director of the CBRE/Buffalo, for his tireless work to rebrand and raise the profile of the commercial real estate Realtor in western New York.
  • Largest Sale of the year ($): Dorothy Stahlnecker, MJ Peterson Commercial Real Estate for brokering the deal to sell the Williamtowne and Garden Village Apartments in Cheektowaga for $40,000,000.
  • Largest Lease of the Year ($): David Schiller, Pyramid Brokerage Co. of Buffalo for the long-term lease he secured for KeyBank moving its offices into 250 Delaware Ave., also the soon-to-be headquarter location for Delaware North.
  • Transaction Volume Award (Team): Patricia Collins and Eric Tudor, Coldwell Banker Commercial Meridian
  • Transaction Volume Award (Individual): Joseph Deck, RealtyUSA Commercial

Congratulations to this year’s winners and thank you for making the Buffalo-Niagara commercial real estate community so dynamic!

by Christopher Finn, Research Manager

It’s Happening Now! Check out the New Buffalo

This short video (Paget Films) shows some of Buffalo Niagara’s newest developments and captures the region’s momentum and energy. Nice job Western New York Regional Council and ESDC. Check it out!

ConServe’s Workforce Doubles with Buffalo Niagara Expansion

In every sense of the word, January 15, 2015 was a busy day for Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE), as team members attended Grand Opening festivities for not one, but two local companies: ConServe and Bak USA!

ConServe Grand Opening

ConServe Grand Opening

While Bak USA is a brand new start-up company located in downtown Buffalo, ConServe celebrated its 30th anniversary while unveiling a new facility located in the Cheektowaga’s Apple Tree Business Park.  Headquartered in nearby Fairport, NY, ConServe is a leading provider of accounts receivable management and innovative recovery solutions for colleges and universities, government agencies and private lenders.  BNE helped ConServe’s expansion into Buffalo Niagara back in 2009.

At that time, the company employed around 100 people at its former location on Walden Avenue in the Town of Lancaster.  Its new facility, with 25,000 square feet of office space, will be able to accommodate 250 employees and more than double its size.  This is a result of its success in the Buffalo Niagara marketplace and a testament to the quality of our region’s workforce.

In fact ConServe’s President, Mark Davitt, credited the region’s “extensive pool of talented solution-oriented professionals and a booming economy” for the company’s prosperity.  BNE has been marketing the region’s available and skilled workforce since its inception, and companies like ConServe appreciate what that can mean to their bottom line.

While ConServe’s new facility is impressive and truly something to celebrate, the most important message behind the expansion is that they are hiring! ConServe will be adding 100 new jobs with an average yearly salary of $50,000.  For further information on these new positions, visit

by Megan Savage, Marketing Communications Specialist

Yancey’s Fancy is ‘Hot Stuff’ in Western New York

Guest blog by Rachael Tabelski, Genesee County Economic Development Center


August 2014, Yancey Fancy 112,000 sq. ft. facility expansion in progress.

Yancey’s Fancy, an artisan cheese manufacturer, continues to be one of Western New York’s most prominent food manufacturing companies.  Yancey’s, formerly Kutters Cheese, has been operating as a premier cheese maker in Western New York since the post-World War I era.  Limburger was the first cheese offered from the company and today their award winning products spans over 50 varieties of flavored and natural cheeses.

In 2014 Yancey’s announced an expansion of their existing facility.  The company is building a new 112,000 sq. ft. building at the Buffalo East Technology Park in Pembroke, NY.  Currently the company employees over 100 workers and with this expansion they project 50 new jobs will be added.

To learn more about Buffalo East Technology Park visit the real estate listing on To learn more about the dairy industry in Buffalo Niagara visit and view maps, brochures and more.


Marketing Tool Provides In-depth Intelligence on Potential Investors

Buffalo Niagara Enterprise recently secured access to fDi Markets, which is a service of the Financial Times. It is a comprehensive online database of cross-border greenfield investments, covering the last decade in all countries and sectors worldwide. This service provides access to real-time monitoring of investment projects, capital investment and job creation. It also tracks and profiles companies investing overseas, and conducts in-depth analysis to uncover trends.

fDi Markets will enable us to:

  • Improve lead generation/identify target companies by allowing BNE to develop a robust pipeline of potential investors within our target sectors and receive instant alerts on companies that are planning to invest abroad.
  • Profile active investors through its profiles of over 60,000 active investors. This will allow BNE to better understand a company’s cross-border investment strategy: where they have invested to date; the types of projects they have invested in; key contact people within the organization and future expansion plans.
  • Develop our investment promotion strategy using trends analysis to understand the size, potential and composition of source markets and sectors.  This will enable BNE to develop strategies on the actual size and growth of the greenfield market.
  • Produce in-depth analysis of key markets and sectors through fDi’s comprehensive trend analysis of each location and sector that BNE targets – including who the key investors are, motives driving investment, key competitors, and more.
  • Evaluate our performance against competitors and “best in class” locations using the number and size of projects secured. We will use this information to benchmark our performance against both competing and “best in class” locations within key sectors and source markets.
  • Enhance our marketing and public relations efforts by using fDi Markets’ data in our press releases and marketing materials.
  • Prepare for overseas investment missions by generating a list of target companies to meet with while on overseas investment missions via fDi’s extensive database.

We believe that the intelligence and research provided by fDi will be a great enhancement to our marketing efforts.  For more information on their comprehensive services, visit

By Graham Smith, BNE Research Director