Inside Western New York

Western New York RegionThe Western New York Region is located in the western part of the State and includes the Buffalo-Niagara Metropolitan area, which is compromised of Erie and Niagara counties, and also includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties. The Western New York (WNY) region covers 4,974 square miles. It is strategically located on lakes Eric and Ontario, and shares a border with Canada.

WNY boasts a wonderful quality of life, with the distinct advantage of both city and suburban living. As such, it has an affordable housing market as well as great public and private schools and universities. Visitors and residents of WNY alike are impressed by its majestic scenery, not to mention the numerous sites and attractions that provide opportunities for recreation in each of the four seasons.

The region has a large and vibrant economy with a particular focus in manufacturing. Manufacturers of hard goods such as transportation equipment, machinery and fabricated metal products are the important export income-generating industries. Advanced manufacturing in Buffalo Niagara encompasses automotive part producers and their suppliers, aerospace and defense, industrial chemical, advanced plastics, and new polymers processing and packaging of foods. Western New York’s honored history as an industrial center makes it a natural choice for companies interested in integrating sophisticated technologies into Buffalo Niagara’s manufacturing facilities.


General Overview
Area – 5,022.18 square miles
Population (2009) – 1,396,153
    Allegany – 49,157
    Cattaraugus – 79,689
    Chautauqua – 133,503
    Erie – 909,247
    Niagara – 214,557

2009 Labor Force: 719,500
2009 Per capita income: $24,837

Market Access
Interstate 90 (I-90) passes through Western New York, providing local companies with high-speed access to points east, as well as west to the Pennsylvania border. In addition, Route 219 provides a north-south corridor to I-86 along the Southern Tier. The Western New York Region is also a gateway to Canada with four bridges that provide fast, easy access into the country.

Air Service
Buffalo Niagara International Airport is the region's largest air passenger and cargo facility, serving 3.4 million passengers per year with more than 200 flights per day. Air passenger service is also available from Niagara Falls International Airport and Chautauqua County Jamestown Airport. Niagara Falls International Airport provides the longest runway in the area with the capacity to land large transport and carrier planes, such as the C5A and 747. The Niagara Falls International Airport also functions as an Air Force and Army Reserve Base. Scheduled airfreight service is provided through Buffalo Niagara International Airport and through Canadian international airports in Toronto and Hamilton.

Rail Service
Four Class I railroads including CSX, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National, and Canadian Pacific provide service to Western New York.

Port Services
Access to ports includes the Port of Buffalo, located on the Great Lakes System with access to intercontinental destinations through the Welland Canal. Many Buffalo shippers also access the Ports of Toronto and Montreal for container shipments.


Notable hospitals in Western New York:
Complete List of Western NY - Buffalo Region Hospitals

Principal Industries
Life Sciences
Renewable energy
Back office industry


Colleges and Universities
Western New York is home to 15 four-year colleges and universities and 20 two-year schools and professional programs annually graduating 20,000.

The top Bachelor’s degree schools in the region include (based on Buffalo Business First 2010 Book of Lists):
Alfred State College
Alfred University
Bryant & Stratton College – Buffalo Campus
Buffalo State College
Canisius College
Daemen College
D’Youville College
Empire State College
Hilbert College
Houghton College
Medaille College
Niagara University
St. Bonaventure University
SUNY College at Fredonia
University at Buffalo
Villa Maria College

The top Associate’s degree schools in the region include (based on Buffalo Business First 2010 Book of Lists):
Erie Community College
Niagara County Community College
Jamestown Community College
Trocaire College
Cornell University School of Industrial & Labor Relations


Local Utilities
National Grid
National Fuel Gas Company
New York State Electric & Gas
Erie County Water Authority
Jamestown Board of Public Utilities


Top Five Western New York employers by employment
State of New York         
University at Buffalo
Kaleida Health
United States of America
HSBC Bank USA N.A.  


Top Five Private Companies (Ranked by 2008 revenues):
Rich Products Corporation, $2.8 Billion – 1300 WNY employees
Delaware North Companies, Inc. - $2.2 Billion – 1062 WNY employees
Osmose Holdings Inc. – $530.9 Million – 167 WNY employees
Schmitt Sales Inc. - $494 Million – 70 WNY employees
Wilson Farms Inc. - $425 Million – 2284 WNY employees


Top Five Public Companies (Ranked by most recent audited fiscal year revenues):
National Fuel Gas Company  - $2.4 Billion
M&T Bank Corporation - $2 Billion
Moog Inc. - $1.9 Billion
Gibraltar Industries Inc. - $1.2 Billion
Seneca Gaming Corporation - $749.6 Million