Buffalo is the second most heavily populated city within the state of New York. It is located within the Western New York region on the eastern shores of Lake Erie. Buffalo sits at the head of the Niagara River and across from Fort Erie, Ontario. The City of Buffalo forms the seat of Erie County. It is the main city of the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan region which is the largest in Upstate New York. Based on the Census of 2010, the city of Buffalo had a population of approximately 261,300 and there were 1,215,826 people in the Buffalo-Niagara-Cattaraugus Combined Statistical Area. Downtown Buffalo is situated 17 miles south or 27 km south of Niagara Falls.
Around the year 1789, the area grew as a small trading community near Buffalo Creek. After the Erie Canal opened in 1825, Buffalo quickly grew to city status. The city became the 8th biggest within the USA by the year 1900 and grew to become a major railroad center. The city of Buffalo also became known as the largest grain-milling center in the United States.
The city of Buffalo saw a reversal of fortunes as the 20th Century evolved. As the St. Lawrence Seaway opened, it in effect re-routed shipping in the Great Lakes. Different steel mills and various heavy industry were relocated to places like for instance China. In the 1970s, with the start of Amtrak, Buffalo Central Terminal was abandoned and trains were re-routed to nearby Depew, New York and Exchange Street Station.
Based on a mixture of light manufacturing, service oriented businesses and high technology, the city's economy is somewhat diverse. Life science industry and research likewise play heavily on the economy of the region. Even if manufacturing has declined over recent decades, it still plays a major role in the economy. Finances, health services and education have grown to become more popular in the economy nowadays. Also, the region's "Byte Belt," consists of about 700 high-tech businesses which offer numerous employment opportunities.
Other employment opportunities are abundant in areas such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics and polymers, automotive parts, defense technology, aerospace, food and food products, medical instruments and fabricated metals.
Buffalo has emerged as a center for human genome research and bioinformatics. Some of this research is being carried out at the Rosewell Park Cancer Institute and the University at Buffalo. The technological resources from the University are provided to private industry. Several companies and organizations are included in the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
In the city of Buffalo, numerous major companies have their head offices situated within the city of Buffalo. Companies such as: M&T Bank and facilities for HSBC Bank USA, KeyBank, Bank of America and Merchants Insurance Group. Among the largest family-owned food manufacturers in the world, Rich Products is likewise located in Buffalo. New Era Cap Company and Labatt Brewing additionally call Buffalo home for their headquarters. Ford also has a plant here.
The Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Development Consortium, Inc. provides several local programs for retraining and training workers. The Business Services Division of the Erie and Buffalo County Workforce Development Consortium is available to coordinate on the job training, to help transition displaced employees and in order to customize training programs for businesses.