Gone are the days of 12 hour shifts milling flour in what was once the world's largest flour mill or sweating in the queen city's massive iron and steel factories. buffalo's coveted labor jobs of the forties and fifties have now been at least partly replaced by hi-tech and high paying jobs in the medical sciences and research fields.
And unlike the old manufacturing jobs experts say these jobs are immune to being phased out. It's the wave of the future.
"If you look at medical research overall those jobs are not going to go away," said Dr. Timothy Murphy, Director of the University at Buffalo Clinical Translational Research Center.
Why? Because the U.S. has an aging population now and healthcare is something everyone needs.
Dr. Murphy leads the Clinical Translational Research Center in the new Gates Vascular Institute building that opened just two months ago.
"Translational research refers to research whose goal is translate basic science observations and basic science knowledge into real new drugs, new treatments, new preventions, new vaccines and so forth to improve healthcare," stated Dr. Murphy.
Sixty percent of the building at the Clinical Translational Research Center is already occupied with about 150 jobs and they're expected to fill the remaining 40 percent of the building in the next two years.
"These kinds of jobs will be research technicians, there'll be graduate students, so called post doctoral fellows, research coordinators, study nurses, administrative people, bio statisticians," said Dr. Murphy.
Buffalo's medical corridor resembles the culture of the internet start-up companies crowded in California's Silicon Valley but instead of competing to create the next best website researchers here are competing to discover the next big medical breakthrough.
And that's exactly what happened at Empire Genomics. This week the cancer research lab announced a new test in the treatment of blood cell cancer bringing 50 new jobs to its Michigan Avenue facility.
"We look forward to playing a role in this age of genomic based medicine and growing our company in western New York," said Dr. Norma Jean Nowak, Founder of Empire Genomics.
As the Queen City is now on the cutting edge of science UB is moving forward with plans to relocate its school of medicine and biomedical sciences downtown. Its dental, nursing, pharmacy and public health schools will soon follow.
All this growth has generated new business and housing development.
Local real estate agent Rob Maloney says College Street, a small west side street, long forgotten is now experiencing a rebirth.
"This is a great example of a property in this neighborhood. The last time it turned over was in the 90's it turned over at $65,000 and now it's listed at $189,000," said Maloney.
And there's no shortage of people who want to live here now.
"We're getting multiple offers on these properties three and four offers at a time and often times they're selling either at or most times above the asking price," explained Maloney.
The experts say medical technology will lead the Buffalo economy for a long time to come. Really, it's been in the background here for longer than most people realize.
"Buffalo and western New York gave the nation and the world cancer research. Chemotherapy was developed here in 1904. Roswell Park Cancer Institute is the first comprehensive cancer center in the entire nation," said Congressman Brian Higgins, D- Buffalo 27th District.
UB's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will move to the Buffalo Niagara Medical campus in 2016. UB is also spending $26 million dollars to build a center for remedial and vocational programs downtown, that project should be completed in 2013.