BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – IBM is bringing 500 new jobs to the Key Center office building in downtown Buffalo.
IBM will be the first anchor tenant of the Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday. The project will train IT professionals and educate new IT staff through partnerships with the State University of New York.
Officials plan to develop next generation IT software for molecular research, genomics, energy efficiency development and defense.
The IT Innovation and Commercialization hub is funded with a $55 million investment from the governor’s Buffalo Billion initiative. This includes $15 million to establish an open innovation facility and $40 million to purchase IT equipment and software. The Hub will be owned by New York State and its resources will be made available to all IT units at all state agencies.
Governor Cuomo announced the jobs would be coming to Buffalo about four months ago, but did not announce the location.
“If we’re creating jobs, people have a reason to stay here. If we’re creating jobs, people have hope. If we’re creating jobs, it’s a tax base for the mayor. If we’re creating jobs, there’s a tax base for the county. Jobs are everything,” Gov. Cuomo said in February.
“I am so excited about this because it is the right place to be, the right project, the right direction. IBM is the right partner to have.”
Delaware North is moving out of the building, and into a new Uniland building at Delaware Avenue and Chippewa Street.
Governor Cuomo was in Buffalo Wednesday, where he announced START-UP New York is offering eight new companies tax breaks and other incentives to set up shop in WNY.
In addition to the jobs IBM will create, Western New York can expect over 200 more through Start-Up New York. “This was Albany’s way, my way, of saying I know we haven’t been there for you,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
To draw in new businesses, Start-Up New York offers companies state tax exemption for 10 years if they set up shop in certain zones throughout New York. 59 of the 64 zones are in Upstate New York. “In those zones we will have the lowest taxes in the nation and to make it simple we’ll make them zero tax zones,” said Governor Cuomo.
12 businesses will expand or locate in the state. 8 of those are in Buffalo, including Lineagen Inc. a genetic testing company out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Mark Smith is starting his first day as National Director of Business Development. “Am I happy that as of today my paycheck is going to have a 0 next to New York State? Sure I am. But for me it was more about the nature of the work and the mission,” said Smith.
The University at Buffalo sponsored the 8 businesses that will bring 208 jobs to the area. UB’s President Satish Tripathi says the majority of them have a connection to the college. “Either UB grads or they have been working the UB researchers or faculty. There’s a lot of good connections in terms of relationship with UB,” said Tripathi. “We’re going to make Buffalo better than it has ever been before that’s what this is all about and this is the step we’re taking today. Thank you and god bless you,” said Governor Cuomo.