BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — M&T Bank is looking to the future with the company's new $58 million Buffalo Tech Lab. The company unveiled the new 330,000-square foot workspace on Wednesday which aims to accelerate startup growth and attract talent to the region.
"I think it's going to be a game changer in terms of attracting, developing and retaining talent in Buffalo", said M&T Bank Chairman and CEO René Jones.
The new M&T Bank Tech Hub is the centerpiece of redevelopment at Seneca One and occupies 13 floors in the 38-story building. The modern workspace was designed to help create over 1000 new jobs to not only work with M&T but to collaborate with several other tech firms that are already inside Seneca One including Odoo, Serendipity Labs, Lighthouse Technology Services, AML Rightsource and 43 North.
"I often say modern creative class talent doesn't wed themselves to solving one type of problem", said Jones. "They like to solve all types of problem, banking, health care, they also like coming together and collaborating to work on solutions so that is what been created here."
M&T Bank plans to slowly bring employees to the Tech Hub over the next several months and while the workspace was designed to be collaborative in nature the company believes that it is flexible enough to safely accommodate the needs of social distancing.
"I think as we deliver and launch the Tech Hub it's a space that we can test and learn our way back in the new ways of working.", said Jones. "I don't know if everyone is going to come back to work but I know of those that come back we feel we are better together. I think it is going to be more flexible than it was in the past."
Another highlight fo the new Tech Hub is the in-house Tech Academy which will focus on engaging the community to create a local pipeline of tech talent.
"It's really going to be focused on adult learners initially and looking to attract those community members that have historically been under represented in tech careers.", said Sarah Tankbakuchi, M&T Bank's Senior Technology Manager. "Think of women, and communities of color, and really tapping that potential and creating that opportunity for them to gain those fundamental entry level tech skills."
The Tech Academy is already providing free skills training to over 500 community members in the WNY Tech Skills Initatitive.
M&T hopes to start moving employees into the new Tech Hub in May as the company begins a new chapter in a new modern workspace focused on collaboration and innovation.
"We are hopeful that this sends a signal not only to M&T, but also the country, that this is a great place where great talent can do great things", added Mike Wissler, M&T Bank's Chief Information Officer.