Is Buffalo Niagara gaining jobs at the expense of its neighbors?
Doug Ford, a candidate in the race to become the leader of the Province of Ontario, is claiming that Canada has lost thousands of jobs to Western New York. But that's not how the leader of the region's economic development organization sees it.
Invest Buffalo Niagara President Tom Kucharski says over the past 18 years, the organization has helped more than 80 companies from Southern Ontario set up shop in the Buffalo area. But Kucharski says less than a handful of those companies actually packed up and moved here.
"All the rest of that 80 were companies that were expanding in to the U.S. marketplace and they landed here for a variety of reasons. It could have been a specific asset that we have in our region that works with their company, or their science, or their supply chain. Having a Made in the USA label, opportunity to compete on U.S. government contracts, working with bridge costs and logistics and delays," Kucharski said.
The companies that expanded here have created about 2,000 local jobs. But he says it's not likely the jobs would have been created in Canada because the market opportunity is on the U.S. side of the border.
"Companies are going where there customers or their potential customers are. Where they see market opportunities and then they address where they need to have workers and facilities based on that opportunity," Kucharksi added.
Kucharski says Invest Buffalo Niagara is not pirating or siphoning off of jobs from Canada. He says the market opportunity for the companies was expansion, not relocation.