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Scoring Tech Talent – Upstate NY is Rising

• Martin Babinec

Just finished my first scan of CBRE’s insightful report with a U.S. wide look at the talent trends inside the top tech markets.

Several themes seem to track closely to what we found in our research for Chapters 1 and 2 of More Good Jobs. While CBRE researchers didn’t use MGJ measures of Retainment and Magnet Quotients, their methodology tracks to similar outcomes we targeted in our research for the book.

Since my emerging tech community building efforts are furthest along across the Upstate NY region, I’ve listed below a few observations that caught my attention. To see the charts and tables for these citations, download the report so you can go directly to the listed page number.

  • p11 and Appendix pA48 Rochester Ranks Nationally – With a strong increase in the number of locally produced STEM degreed graduates, Rochester listed as #47 of top 50 Tech Talent markets in the U.S. Page 44 shows Rochester also doing well in the category of Underrepresented Race/Ethnic Groups in U.S. Tech Talent Workforce.
  • p58 Tech Quality vs. Cost Analysis: Rochester is on the edge of moving into the “High Quality” labor market segment for tech talent – while still maintaining the lowest cost structure of any of the top 50 tech talent metro markets in the U.S. This finding is not only a marketing opportunity for Rochester, but perhaps a metric we might focus on developing for comparison across all our region’s metro areas.
  • p68 North America’s Next 25: Here CBRE researchers ranked smaller labor markets with the most promising trends in growing both tech jobs and rising wages. Albany ranked #6 and Buffalo ranked #17.

People working together in an office

Taken as a whole, this research with a national comparison across markets shows three of Upstate New York’s metro areas recognized as trending in the right direction producing tech jobs with rising wages at a rate that is accelerating over peer communities with similar demographics.


Results come from playing the long game to build connected communities

When Nasir Ali and I launched non-profit Upstate Venture Connect in 2010, the Upstate NY emerging tech landscape was so much less developed than it is today.

It’s been a long and committed effort to keep grinding with experiments for scaling solutions across the region to help connect founders to resources they need to start and grow innovation economy companies.

Even as New York State struggles with a broken political system that further propels outmigration, I find this CBRE report to be a bit of validation from an independent source that helps bring visibility on the progress being made.

While there’s much yet to be done, the news puts more fuel back in the tank to keep growing the movement our UVC community (now 15,000+ strong) has contributed to developing as a regional network over the last decade.

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