Manufacturing Base

The manufacturing sector is a key part of Buffalo Niagara regional economy.  As of 2003, the Buffalo Niagara region had 2,000 firms active in the manufacturing sector (accounting for 5.4 percent of all companies in the region), which employ 94,000 people (accounting for 14.1 percent of all jobs in the region).

Several strong industry clusters have emerged from the manufacturing sector:

  • Automobiles and Automotive Components: Major corporations such as General Motors, Ford, Motorola, and American Axle produce various automotive components.  Many of these companies have committed substantial capital investments to their facilities.
  • Medical Devices: The extended Buffalo Niagara region (reaching from Toronto to Buffalo to Syracuse) is home to more than 850 medical industry companies, including renowned medical equipment, research and health care institutions. This rapidly expanding cluster includes such established companies as MDS Proteomics, Vaccinex, Mentholatum Company, Kimberly-Clark, Invitrogen, Bausch & Lomb, Proctor & Gamble Pharmaceutical, and Welch Allyn.

Food and Food-Related Products: The Buffalo-Niagara region has a higher concentration of employment in the food processing industry than the national average, with approximately 300 firms providing approximately 12,000 jobs.  This accounts for 17% of all food processing jobs in New York State.  The majority of these jobs are in the food manufacturing sector.  The region also has the highest concentration of food machinery manufacturers in the state, as well as high concentrations of dairy farms and food processors.

New York State Exports and Imports by Commodity (2004)

 
Exports
Imports

Commodity
(by HS2)

Value
(billion USD)

Commodity
(by HS2)

Value
(billion USD)

#1

Industrial Machinery

21.83

Autos and Auto Parts

27.51

#2

Electric Machinery

14.52

Precious Metals and Stones

24.16

#3

Precious Metals and Stones

13.93

Mineral Fuels and Oils

20.24

#4

Autos and Auto Parts

10.12

Industrial Machinery

20.13

#5

Optic/Photo Equipment and
Surgical/Medical Instruments

9.72

Electric Machinery

12.41

#6

Plastics and Plastic Articles

5.09

Unknit Apparel

10.61

#7

Pharmaceuticals

4.36

Pharmaceuticals

10.32

#8

Aircraft/Spacecraft and Parts

4.06

Knit Apparel

7.95

#9

Works of Arts/Collectors
Pieces/Antiques

2.77

Organic Chemicals

6.89

#10

Mineral Fuels and Oils

2.62

Optic/Photo Equipment and
Surgical/Medical Instruments

6.34