The announcement by Time Warner Cable that it will bring 152 new jobs to the edge of Buffalo’s East Side is a boon to residents who will be able to apply for good jobs in their own neighborhood.
In return, the company is receiving more than $3.1 million in state tax breaks. It’s a hefty price to pay, but a necessary part of the deal to make over an unattractive site on the edge of downtown. Also, the money will be doled out as the jobs are created, not up front. Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said he has confidence that the company will not only meet the jobs target, but exceed it.
The jobs typically pay an average of $15 an hour nationwide, or $31,200 for a 40-hour work week.
Credit goes to political leaders at the local, state and national levels who fought hard to get the cable giant to locate its call center here.
More than the tax breaks was at play. Time Warner officials and political leaders cited the strength of the workforce, the low cost of doing business here and the company’s 25 years of experience in the region, where it has about 1,000 workers.
The call center will be a big part of a repurposed community asset.
McGuire Development Co., a subsidiary of nursing home company McGuire Group, purchased the 160,000-square-foot hospital late last year and is in the process of redeveloping the 8.7-acre site. McGuire is turning what could have become a neighborhood eyesore into a hub for medical science and workforce training.
The former Sheehan Hospital, now Compass East, is adding job opportunities with the call center and is also branching out into heritage tourism as the temporary home for the Langston Hughes Institute.
The cable deal comes on the heels of the welcome announcement by GEICO that it now has 2,500 employees here and plans to keep adding more.
The moves further reinforce positive perceptions of Buffalo Niagara’s workforce. Folks around here want to work and show they can outwork the competition.
When it comes to filling jobs, incentives are important, but the workers have to be there, and there’s no doubt that the Buffalo Niagara region has the right men and women to fill the demand.