TechBuffalo commissioned UBRI to develop a set of research-grounded, data-driven recommendations and strategies to grow an inclusive tech workforce in the Buffalo-Niagara region, including consideration of TechBuffalo’s role as an intermediary. The work focused on better aligning supply and demand for tech workers, fostering inclusive growth through employer-driven training, career on-ramps, and wraparound services, and developing strategies that leverage regional strengths and opportunities and address pressing ecosystem needs. The research builds on a talent initiative report that UBRI completed in 2019 that lays out a three-prong strategy for tech.
The research completed by UBRI in 2022 engaged a variety of tech workforce stakeholders through a survey of employers, a survey of training organizations, and focus groups and listening sessions with tech employers, trainers and young professionals. A 17-member tech workforce project advisory group guided the work and offered expert input on preliminary findings and the final report. The research team also compiled and analyzed data from a variety of sources that shed light on workforce needs, trends and opportunities in tech.
Key findings show 1) tech jobs are growing but we lag behind our peers; 2) employers have a hard time filling jobs; 3) we train but don’t retain tech talent; 4) while opportunities exist, tech training programs and employers needs are disconnected; 5) workers need wraparound services but employers and trainers lack capacity; and 6) tech stakeholders need better information to grow the region’s tech workforce. The final report was released in October 2022.