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State of Tech WNY

Building Buffalo-Niagara’s Tech Workforce

Commissioned by TechBuffalo, Strategies for Building Buffalo Niagara’s Tech Workforce provides a comprehensive look into the region’s tech ecosystem and offers action-oriented tactics backed by research to strengthen this developing segment of the workforce.

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Challenges and Opportunities

Tech drives our nation’s economy. Jobs in tech span every employment sector, from tech startups and tech companies of all sizes to banks, hospitals, schools, manufacturers, casinos, marketing firms, and more.

Tech jobs are growing, but we lag the nation/peers.

While tech represents a growing opportunity for Buffalo Niagara, tech job opportunities are growing faster elsewhere.

Employers have a hard time filling tech jobs.

Skills in high demand and competition for talent across the nation create a challenge when hiring.

We train but don’t retain tech talent.

Immigration policies and related costs limit employer access to hiring international students, which make up almost half of WNY’s tech graduates.

Tech training programs and employer needs are disconnected but opportunities exist.

Stronger partnerships between employers and trainers can address the disconnects in tech.

Workers need wraparound services, but employers and trainers lack capacity.

Wraparound services help to reduce and eliminate barriers to ensure individuals are successful in training and on the job.

Employers, trainers, and job seekers need better information to grow the region’s tech workforce.

Data and information can empower tech employers, trainers, and job seekers, as it supports informed decision-making, investments, and impacts

Ecosystem Strategies

With intentional investment and engagement on focused strategies and action items, we can better align and coordinate existing efforts to continue the buildout of an inclusive, growing, and sustainable regional tech economy.

A three-pronged strategy to grow an inclusive tech workforce was identified during this study.

Build a continuum of opportunity that engages youth, up-skillers, re-skillers, and those who want to pursue tech degrees through outreach, alignment, connection and coordination.

Launch a large-scale marketing campaign to attract professionals to WNY and increase opportunities for internships and apprenticeships.

Encourage closer partnerships with employers and trainers.

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