On Sept. 19, Invest Buffalo Niagara, the nonprofit, privately funded economic development organization representing the eight counties of Western New York, officially commemorated its 20th anniversary with the launch of several new strategic initiatives, including the rollout of the much-anticipated “Be in Buffalo” talent attraction campaign.
“Since 1999, Invest Buffalo Niagara has focused tirelessly on improving the economic standing of Western New York through business attraction, retention, and regional marketing efforts,” said Robert Zak, chair, Invest Buffalo Niagara. “However, rather than reflect on past successes, our organization believes the time is right to introduce several new strategies and revamped tools that will equip Buffalo Niagara well for the contact sport that is modern economic development and global talent recruitment.”
Each of the updated strategic initiatives is intended to both ensure that Invest Buffalo Niagara continues to make an impactful contribution to growth within the region, and also to help provide leadership and industry-wide collaboration in the deployment of innovative approaches that will appeal to top companies and existing and future employees alike.
“By securing and retaining top talent, increasing local industrial development availability and inventory, and continuing with the active attraction of new businesses to the region, Buffalo Niagara can effectively position itself for a more prosperous future,” said Thomas Kucharski, president and CEO, Invest Buffalo Niagara.
As part of the effort, Invest Buffalo Niagara also intends to team up with members, partners, and area employers in emerging sectors to advance an exclusive, branded campaign highlighting the accessibility and vast opportunities present within the region.
The “Be in Buffalo” campaign was developed in response to the organization’s recent Labor Market Assessment findings and encompasses strong input from associated consultants, universities, and advisors. The undertaking will target young workers and professionals (aged 25-40-years-old) through a mix of authentic storytelling and data-driven marketing to more fully connect with such audiences.
Additionally, the campaign will concentrate on several key occupations needed to support growing local businesses, such as: Engineering—“Engineer opportunities,” Finance—“Accrue success,” Health Sciences—“Discover your breakthrough,” and Technology—“Program your future.”
“From skilled and talented ex-pats who can bring unique experiences back to their hometown to graduating students with fresh vision, it’s essential that our region builds an extended talent pool by highlighting Western New York as a destination to truly learn, live, grow, and prosper,” said Jenna Kavanaugh, chief operating officer, Invest Buffalo Niagara. “We intend to put our extensive experience and passion on display as we engage talent and showcase inspiring stories, unique regional attributes, and exciting places and opportunities that reinforce the lifestyle that is being in Buffalo.”
As part of the overall rollout of the updated strategic initiatives, Invest Buffalo Niagara separately invited a large contingent of national site selectors to the region. These site selectors—individuals and organizations that help companies scout potential future locations for expansion or new facilities—each received tours and visits with area business leaders to hear firsthand about Western New York’s prospects, assets, and industry-specific opportunities.
Meanwhile, Invest Buffalo Niagara also announced a forthcoming local industrial real estate market analysis. This evaluation will inform a recommendation for developers, utility providers, and elected officials regarding potential sites for future growth. The study will commence in Oct. 2019, with completion expected in Feb. 2020.
“There is no doubt that with these plans and announcements Invest Buffalo Niagara will embark on an aggressive new drive on behalf of the region,” concluded Zak. “At the same time, an important aspect of our updated strategies is the continued commitment to proven, client-first methods and activities that have helped us build relationships and attract businesses of all shapes and sizes to our region for many years.”