- Invest Buffalo Niagara, a nonprofit, privately funded economic development organization, observed its 20th anniversary on Sept. 19 by launching a marketing campaign called "Be in Buffalo" and rolling out other strategic initiatives to attract talent and bring economic development to the city. The organization represents the eight counties of Western New York.
- Invest Buffalo Niagara said it developed the campaign in response to its labor market assessment findings. The campaign received input from advisors, consultants and universities, and aims to attract young workers and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 through what the organization called a "mix of data-driven marketing and authentic storytelling" to connect with this demographic.
- "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," Jenna Kavanaugh, chief operating officer of Invest Buffalo Niagara, said in a public statement.
As companies in all industries find they need tech talent, more cities have stepped up. Detroit is one such metro area that's trying to shore up its reputation as an attractive place to live, work and learn. In March, Motor City announced it was building a $30 million training center to provide free training in skilled trades for as many as 1,500 students a year. The city's government said the program comes at a crucial time for Michigan businesses, which need 15,000 workers to fill jobs in skilled-trades industries each year. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a public statement that he wanted Detroit residents to be trained in the trades to support the city's economic development.
LinkedIn's Economic Graph initiative found that metro areas still attract a large share of the labor force, which raises the question: Can small, suburban areas compete with cities for talent? LinkedIn's initiative revealed that cities in the Midwest and South may see serious migration out; studies have shown that young workers are attracted to city life because of the access to cultural events, restaurants and other amenities.
But the high cost of urban living alone repels some workers. In fact, Citrix Systems and OnePoll released survey results in March that showed 75% of respondents would leave their large cities to live and work in other locations, with the "crippling" cost of living being a key reason for many.