Over the past few months, Invest Buffalo Niagara undertook an extensive study of the advanced business services industry in our region. The research team interviewed and polled stakeholders and compiled qualitative and quantitative data on specific industry, subsectors, companies, occupations, education programs and training opportunities.
Buffalo Niagara is a hub for back office operations, and the industry is only continuing to grow. There are currently 16,000 employees in back office operations in Buffalo Niagara. Companies locate and hire here because of the large talent pool, affordable cost of living, and easy lifestyle.
The insurance sector in Buffalo Niagara is strong and has the potential to grow even further. The region features 8,000 current insurance employees with a strong educational pipeline from our 21 colleges and universities. Median hourly wages are lower than comparable metro areas and cost of living is lower as well.
When we visited Merchants Insurance to interview Robert Zak, president & CEO of the Buffalo-based insurance provider, we found a table in large, recently renovated room. It was open and collaborative, with artifacts from the company’s history on display. Lining the outside of the room’s floor was a newly installed walking track for employees to get their steps in. The company understands that health and wellness is important to employees and encourages the self-care. It’s just one of the many ways Merchants Insurance takes care of its employees.
In a past life, the Buffalo Niagara region was the center of our nation, a bustling hub for importation and goods. Through the next century, it remained just that and advanced as a large metropolis. Somewhere in between then and now, population declined and manufacturing experienced some growing pains. However, today, Buffalo Niagara is again ascending to the nation’s forefront. Thanks to its successful past, it has the infrastructure and capabilities of a large metropolis, still with the population and recognition of a recovering region. Space is available and a wide technological breadth is in place. That combination, a small fish in a large pond, if you will, allows the Buffalo Niagara region great potential and growth opportunity. Others have seen it, choosing to be a part of the revitalization. Don’t worry, though. There’s room on the bandwagon for you too.