THE BNMA BRIEF: Issue 1, 2nd Quarter 2016


BNMA members,

As spring greets us in 2016, we are excited to bring to you the first edition of our BNMA newsletter, The BNMA Brief. Our Board looks forward to serving our membership and the addition of this quarterly tool will serve as a medium to keep us connected and up-to-date on all the latest happenings within the Alliance. 

A few notes on recent developments:

The BNMA is pleased to announce that Peter Coleman has been appointed our new Executive Director. Peter had served on the BNMA board for 3 years, most recently as Vice-President. Peter has a strong passion for manufacturing in WNY and is dedicated to the development of our next generation of manufacturing employees. We are excited to have Peter move into this role within the BNMA.

Jerry Sheldon served as our first Executive Director in 2015 and was critical in the development and implementation of our ED (Executive Director) position. We thank him and wish the best at his new role as Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity - Buffalo.

Our Events Committee has finalized our 2016 Calendar of Events. Included are our annual events: Golf Outing, Bison’s Game, and Corporate Challenge - along with a variety of company tours. And we willl be bringing back our Manufacturing Night event in October. This year Manufacturing Night will be bigger and better than ever. For reservations and details on our events, along with other important updates within the Alliance, please visit our BNMA website.

On January 12th the BNMA conducted a strategic planning workshop, hosted and facilitated by Althea Leuhrsen, CEO of Leadership Buffalo. We would like to thank all that contributed to the success of this event and look forward to sharing and implementing our findings.

It is an honor and pleasure to serve as your President, representing the Alliance and its members within the Western New York community. Thank you for your continued support of the BNMA. I look forward to working with you.

Kevin Calvello, BNMA President

Buffalo Manufacturing Works

In April 2016, Buffalo Manufacturing Works, operated by EWI, marked its first anniversary of being open for business in Western New York. In just one short year, our team has hit the ground running working with innovative-driven manufacturers in multiple industries by partnering with their internal manufacturing, engineering, and R&D teams to deliver better products, grow and compete.

By working with our operating partner, EWI, manufacturers of all sizes have access to some of the world’s best engineers, technicians, and scientists dedicated to developing, testing, and implementing advanced manufacturing technologies. 

Through EWI membership, manufacturers can augment their internal team with our engineers and resources, through access to world-class technical capabilities and answer your toughest questions. Think of us as an extension of your own research and development team.

There are three technical areas that we focus on to help manufacturers grow and compete, Additive Manufacturing, Flexible Automation, and Materials & Testing.

Additive Manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, is one of our three main technology focus areas. The process allows manufacturers to build parts layer by layer with extreme precision. One of our newest pieces of technology that supports this focus area is our Arcam A2X. The Arcam is a 3D printer that builds parts using metal powder built layer-by-layer with a powerful electron beam.

Our second technology focus area is flexible automation. This technology helps manufacturers increase quality, increase processing speed, and reduce manufacturing costs. We have nearly a dozen different robots, including collaborative robots that can work side-by-side with humans.

It’s also important for manufacturers to have access to information about new materials to find long-term cost reductions through increased quality, longer service life and other benefits. To test new materials, Buffalo Manufacturing Works now has a state-of-the-art CT scanner that is the gold standard in industrial non-destructive evaluation (NDE). It will allow us to check the internal features or integrity of a part. 

Collaboration in our community is also integral to the success of Buffalo Manufacturing Works. We are able to link manufacturers with the University at Buffalo for assistance with fundamental research and access to experts in engineering, materials science, chemistry and other manufacturing-related fields.

When manufacturers come to us with process excellence needs, we turn to Insyte Consulting.  Insyte is a highly regarded external advisor that has been around for more than 30 years, helping clients improve operational productivity by providing customized solutions.

If exporting or expanding markets is important to a manufacturer, we have World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara as an international trade resource to provide consulting on valuable market research.

Buffalo Manufacturing Works is proud to be part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative and a member of the Buffalo Niagara Manufacturers Alliance.

The BNMA partners with Dream It Do It Western New York:

The Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance has entered into an agreement with Dream It Do It Western New York (IDIDWNY) to coordinate activities in Erie & Niagara County.

During the BNMA’s strategic planning event, one of the primary weaknesses of our region is the lack of skilled labor in the workforce pipeline, and the threat it poses to our local economy. Our Members are facing a workforce shortage. It is estimated that there will be over 17,000 manufacturing jobs available in Western New York by 2020. Clearly the current workforce shortage will soon reach crisis levels as the baby boomer generation exits the workforce in droves.

DIDIWNY is the primary organization in the region that is working within the school systems to communicate the importance of manufacturing, career paths and job opportunities.

Without a concerted effort through a private, public and education partnership to address the workforce demand of manufacturers the Western New York economy will be devastated. Without a workforce our members cannot produce product, cannot grow and cannot effectively meet the challenges of competing in a global economy.

There are six priority skilled job categories including welding, machining, electro-mechanical technician, mechanics, quality assurance inspecting, electrical and production operations. The average salary in these priority roles is much higher than the average salary in the region. Manufacturing is providing Western New Yorkers with great job opportunities that pay 8-20% above the regional salary average.

Manufacturing in Western New York is on the rebound. The up-turn in the economy compounded by re-shoring of manufacturing has helped this sector gain strength. A reinvigorated manufacturing sector will require a skilled workforce to continue this growth pattern. By partnering with DIDIWNY the BNMA is addressing the workforce needs of our members through the coordination of stakeholders and resources.

Bond, Schoeneck & King Attorneys

Bond Schoeneck & King’s attorneys provide coordinated, comprehensive legal counsel to manufacturers on strategic, operational, financial, regulatory and day-to-day business issues. In addition, we assist manufacturers not only in all types of labor and employments issues, including the myriad legal pitfalls associated with hiring, disciplining and firing employees, formulating and enforcing employment policies and procedures, and classifying workers for purposes of overtime and other terms and conditions of employment, but also in identifying and taking the steps necessary to protect some of manufacturers’ most important assets, their trade secrets, customer relationships and key employees, from external and internal threats. 

Our firm’s collective experience, with over 50 attorneys in Buffalo and 270 attorneys throughout New York State and elsewhere, provides manufacturers of all shapes and sizes with the representation needed to address and resolve any legal problem, whether in the boardroom, at the bargaining table, or in the courtroom. 

For more Information please contact
Bradley A. Hoppe, Esq.

Mark A. Moldenhauer, Esq.


As cliché as BUFFALO IS BACK may ring after recent years of local clamoring, there are few Buffalonians who would offer dissent. The spectrum of national media (Katie Couric in Buffalo, National Post) is putting Buffalo and Niagara back on the map as a well rounded tourist destination. Locals are proud to bear this new responsibility - but how is the manufacturing climate affected?

Regional tone is positive. But for established manufacturers in our market, concerns loom like snow storms approaching from an unfrozen Lake Erie, over scarcities in our labor market and employee poaching. With tourism and new developments gaining momentum, the Buffalo region finds itself in a surprising new reality that our manufacturing community must perform in.

Prosaic advice suggests that we must adapt quickly to these changes to maintain regional relevance. But before we rewrite our modus operandi to keep pace with Silicon Valley, let's revisit our roots to explore and identify mutual objectives. This is what Grover Cleveland would want.

American manufacturing has ran the gauntlet for decades. No news here as foreign competition and outsourcing along with changes in consumer tastes have impacted rust belt regions in ways that only those with long memories and high thresholds can comprehend (Your author grew up in a manufacturing family and knows first hand the challenges faced by the few businesses that have evolved through our region's Industrial Darwinism). The struggles have been - and still are - real, but there are those among us who have not only survived but thrived.

We know Buffalo manufacturers are smart, savvy and loyal - the ones who’ve lasted had to be. But often overlooked is the scope and diversity of our manufacturing capabilities. As regional manufacturing grows in proportion to regional gross product and employee concentration, we should expect to see advocacy and representation snowball.

New York State shows manufacturing at 5.2% GSP (Gross State Product), while our neighbors in Pennsylvania hit 12% and around the corner Michigan vaunts 19% (Source: 2015 Bureau of Economic Analysis). Again, no news here as New York has some hallmark regions that are known for everything but manufacturing - but let's note that the Buffalo Niagara region now boasts over 10% in itself. And further encouraging new are the recent changes in manufacturing employment. Billy Fuccilo would have a hard time finding the right adjective to describe our 90’s losses, but we now see a great turnaround. From 49.6k in 2010, we’re moving to an adjusted 52.5k count of 2015 sector jobs. Modest gains but gains nonetheless (Source: US Dept. of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics - Buffalo/Niagara, NY). Investments in time and resources from the New York State Department of Labor  along with incentives and programs are making an impact. We look forward to measuring outcomes over the next years and fully expect to see continued growth in manufacturing as solar power and high tech move to our shores with additions like Globe Specialty Metals and the much anticipated SolarCity.

But does this growth translate to a bigger seat at the table? “Western New York’s economic transformation has captured the attention of companies and investors around the globe,” says Governor Cuomo. “The business development environment in and around Buffalo has made it clear to cutting-edge companies that this is the right place to put down roots and thrive…”  43NORTH is proof here as large capital investments along with expert mentorship, incubator space and tax incentives are awarded to startups from around the world through this competition, with winners agreeing to locate in Buffalo for 12 month minimum.

And millennials are moving back as 20-34 year old demographics show a 10%+ jump in our last half decade, compared to a 28% nosedive from 1990 - 2006 (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, M&T Bank). Headhunting management is reaching across state lines and they’re pulling locally from University at Buffalo and the like. Government initiative to develop regional base like Workforce Development and the Buffalo Billion projects indicate an understanding of Buffalo / Niagara trends.

Ultimately our region’s attractiveness to the right workforce will decide the fate of our growing manufacturing sector. Continuing public and private efforts with attention to affordable safe housing, appropriate wages and attractive environments will continue to reside in the forefront of Buffalonian conversation. These are necessary exchanges we are prepared, now more than ever in recent history, to appropriately address.

MONDAY JUNE 13  9:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Annual Golf Outing
Arrowhead Golf Club

THURSDAY JUNE 23  5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Corporate Challenge
Delaware Park

TUESDAY AUGUST 16  6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Bisons Baseball Game
Coca Cola Field

Date Published: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016