Buffalo Manufacturing Works, a $45 million project that is part of the Buffalo Billion program, opened its doors yesterday. ?It was designed as a center for area manufacturers looking for resources and access to new equipment to grow their business, improve customer service and apply the latest technology on the shop floor.

The ultimate goal? ?To bring more jobs and growth to Western New York by allowing local businesses a place to expand research and development.

?It will help existing businesses grow and thrive while remaining competitive,? said Sam Hoyt, Empire State Development?s regional president. ?Basically it will give our manufacturers a technical advantage that will lift them up. It?s all about improving local businesses? competitiveness, throughout the region and globally.?

The center announced that it will be adding a?learning lab that, by next school year, will become a learning center for middle- and high-school students. ?Eventually, certificate programs will be made available for students, who will also learn real-life applications and marketplace demands.