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Buffalo poised to fill new high-tech/green energy jobs

WBFO News photo by Chris Caya

The recently announced RiverBend project is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the high-tech/green energy arena. The Buffalo area is now well-positioned to fill the needs of the California based companies anchoring the $1.7 billion project. 

Along with cheap reliable power and other infrastructure, Buffalo-Niagara Enterprise President and CEO Thomas Kucharski says the other thing high-tech companies look for is a skilled and educated workforce.

Kucharski says the research and clean room facilities at UB, RIT the University of Rochester, and the University of Toronto are underappreciated assets.  

"This area is already generating a tremendous amount of engineers that have some skill and degrees in this space. And they're currently being recruited to Austin and to Tech Valley and to North Carolina when they could be staying right here and working on something in this industry segment," said Kucharski.

Kucharski says filling the 850 new jobs expected to be created by the first two companies moving into RiverBend is not going to be a challenge. And he says having Silveo and Soraa anchoring the project will help attract other companies in the nano-tech field.

"While they're kind of in the late stage start up early maturation stage they're known for their innovation. And the trends point upward which is where you want to be if you're trying to grow a new segment of your economy," noted Kucharski.

With nano-tech growing at the highest rate of any industry segment, Kucharski says RiverBend can only bode well for Buffalo.