BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Each Monday in our City Shapers segment, we introduce you to someone who is making an impact in our community. This week, 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik gets a look inside the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara with its CEO.
Among Larkinville's sea of offices on Exchange Street, you'll find the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara.
"I've always lived in the area, and I love the area, and I didn't want to leave the area," says John Manzella.
Manzella is the not-for-profit's President and CEO.
"This opportunity came about again November 2015 and I jumped at it," says Manzella. “The region to my delight has really grown considerably and it's become much more exciting than it has in the past, and we see more and more investment and more and more companies moving to the area."
There are hundreds of World Trade Centers in dozens of countries. Their goal is to help companies expand internationally through exporting, investing abroad, and by helping them learn how to import.
"And in turn, that helps them become more competitive, stronger locally, and it benefits the local economy. It helps generate greater economic growth in the region, helps create greater economic output, and helps create a stronger tax base locally," says Manzella.
Manzella says Western New York's proximity to Canada makes the region appealing to companies.
"Our recommendation is if you're a first time company getting involved internationally, we highly recommend pursuing the Canadian market, and there's no better jumping off point than Buffalo, New York," he says.
In addition to companies growing here, Manzella has recently noticed more young people choosing to make Buffalo their home.
"What's interesting is we find younger Millennials leaving areas like California and coming to Upstate New York where in the 70s and 80s, you have never heard of such a thing. For example, a friend of mine was having his home refurbished and one of the workers, talked to one of the younger workers, and he was from California. And he said he moved to Buffalo because he heard it was a cool place to move to," he says.
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