In an extraordinary recognition of the region’s potential and bolstered by his confidence in A Strategy for Prosperity, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo made a historic commitment to strategically invest $1.5 billion in the Buffalo area economy through the Buffalo Billion I (announced in 2012) and Buffalo Billion II (announced 2017). Serving as the local partner with McKinsey and Brookings, UBRI worked on the Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan and led the Buffalo Billion Phase II Plan. The Buffalo Billion is different and complex— a major shift in the way the region had always done things. It was designed with the goal to make fundamental changes to the regional economy and create a more prosperous and sustainable future. The strategies and implementation planning were developed with UBRI based on objective data and analysis, and through a collaborative and inclusive process to build community buy-in.
Since 2013, UBRI has provided ESD with project management across all Buffalo Billion initiatives (49 initiatives with upwards of 100 individual projects—and more in the pipeline), ensuring the appropriate infrastructure is in place for delivery of the initiatives. UBRI assists ESD with strategic planning and problem solving; public engagement, marketing and communications; and tracking, monitoring and reporting. UBRI played a large role in the design, development and implementation of many key initiatives including the East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund, the Better Buffalo Fund, the Workforce Development Challenge, The Northland Corridor and Northland Workforce Training Center, Buffalo Manufacturing Works, 43North, and the Innovation Hub.