In August 2017, The Worker Institute in Buffalo convened high level leaders over the course of two days, around a discussion of Buffalo, NY Since the Great Recession. With a combination of presentations, panels, and a tour of the UAW Local 774, participants in this workshop gained a deeper understanding of the economic restructing that followed the Great Recession and where this large metropolitan area stands today. Below, you will find links to the resources that were presented during this two day convening. 



DAY 1, AUGUST 14, Cornell in Buffalo

Welcome, Arthur Wheaton, The Worker Institute, Cornell University
Introduction: The Contours of Economic Development in the Rust Belt since the Great Recession Evren Dincer, Uludag University 09.10AM-09.30AM

Session I Main Trends and Issues of Economic Development in Buffalo
The Performance of the Buffalo Economy Since the Great Recession Jaison Abel, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
*Here is a presentation he did in March
*Here is a presentation he did earlier in August
Healing Buffalo’s Economy: The Buffalo Billion and Priorities for Economic Development
John Slenker, New York State Department of Labor
General Trends in the Labor Market
Cesar Cabrera, New York State Department of Labor
Labor Market and Challenges for Workforce Development Heather Gresham, Executive Director, Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Investment Board
Labor’s Role in Economic Development and Organizing
Richard Lipsitz Jr., Western New York Area Labor Federation
Economic Development from a Social Justice Perspective
Franchelle C. Hart, Open Buffalo

Lunch Break: 12PM-1PM

Session II
Placing Buffalo in its Geographical and Economic Context: Buffalo as part of New York State and the Rust Belt
The Role of New York City in the Economy of New York State James Parrott, Center for New York City Affairs at The New School
Buffalo’s Economic Relations with Albany
Bruce Fisher, SUNY Buffalo State
The Role of Community Organizations in Buffalo’s Economic Revitalization in a Comparative Perspective
Ronald Applegate, Cornell University
Buffalo’s Economic Development Compared: Buffalo as Part of the Rust Belt Evren Dincer, Uludag University

Coffee Break, 2.45PM-3.00PM

Session III
Sectors in Perspective

Buffalo’s Housing Market since the Great Recession
Sam Magavern, Partnership for the Public Good
Buffalo’s Agricultural Economy since the Great Recession Diane Held, Cornell University Cooperative Extension
The Finance Sector in Buffalo since the Great Recession Gary Keith, M&T Bank
Buffalo-Niagara Medical Corridor Experiment: Perspectives on a Project for Economic Revitalization
David Scott, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (TBC)
The Energy Sector, Community Development and Sustainability in Buffalo since the Great Recession
Rahwa Ghirmatzion, PUSH Buffalo

Concluding Remarks and Reflections on Day One
Rosemary Batt, Cornell University

DAY 2, AUGUST 15, UAW Local 774
Session IV, 09AM-12PM
Sectors in Perspective II
Manufacturing and the Auto Industry

A Historical Review of the Auto Industry in the U.S. and Western New York
Art Wheaton, The Worker Institute at Cornell University

Recent Trends in Auto Manufacturing in Western New York
Ian Greer, Cornell University
Canadian Auto Industry since the Great Recession: A Look at Buffalo from the other side of the Border Mathieu Dupuis, School of Industrial Relations, University of Montreal
The Reindustrialization of the U.S.: Tonawanda Powertrain since the Great Recession Evren Dincer, Uludag University
Auto Manufacturing in Buffalo since the Great Recession: A Managerial Perspective
Steve Finch, Plant Manager, GM Tonawanda Powertrain
Labor Management Relations and Restructuring in Manufacturing since the Great Recession: A Union Perspective
Wenceslao Valentin III, President, UAW Local 774

For more information please contact: Evren Dincer, email:, call or text (267) 438-9450 Art Wheaton, email:, call or text (716) 777-0303