Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today continued the statewide Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Progress Tour in the Capital Region, where he toured projects to see, firsthand, their progress and their economic impact in the region.
This is the fifth visit in the Governor's REDC Progress Tour that is part of a review of last year's strategic economic development plans and job-creating projects.
Following these tours, the Capital Region EDC provided a formal presentation outlining the progress they have made in advancing last year's strategic plans and projects, as well as their endorsed projects for the coming year to the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team (SIAT) at the Albany Medical Center.
"Under the Regional Council process which has given individual regions the power to shape their own economic trajectory, New York State no longer has a top-down approach when it comes to economic development," Governor Cuomo said. "The Capital Region is putting their own strategic plan to action and growing jobs and businesses in their communities."
"Today Governor Cuomo, Lt. Governor Duffy, and the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team saw first-hand that, through this regional economic development process, we are successfully collaborating across sectors and regions to strengthen the Capital Region economic ecosystem, thereby maintaining and creating jobs, preparing and retaining the workforce, and celebrating and strengthening our communities," said Regional Council Co-Chair and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Dr. Shirley Jackson. "Guided by our strategic plan, the Council is engaging with business, education, government, and other community leaders across our 8 county region, working together to lay the foundation for long-term economic security."
"Last year, the Capital Region Council developed a strategy to help transform the future economy of the Capital Region by supporting and attracting business growth and job creation," said Regional Council Co-Chair and Albany Medical Center President James J. Barba. "Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Duffy, the Council members are working together to turn that plan into actions that will maximize the potential of the tremendous resources we have here and strengthen our region for the future."
The Governor toured the following CREDC project sites:
The New York Capital Research Alliance
The New York Capital Research Alliance, a partnership between Albany Medical Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University at Albany, was awarded $950,000 to establish a regional initiative to leverage world-class intellectual capital and an unparalleled biomedical research and development infrastructure to attract both private sector investment and federal sponsored funding. The Alliance announced its first grants - 10 awards totaling $745,000 in seed funding - in early October.
Ecovative Design, LLC
Ecovative, a bio-based materials manufacturer, was awarded $250,000 for the purchase of machinery and equipment as part of an expansion project that increased efficiency to meet customer demand. It has created 10 new, full time jobs and has helped leverage $2 million in private investment.
The Governor also visited the following CREDC 2012 priority project:
The Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) project at Kiernan Plaza will revive the vacant and historic Union Station building in downtown Albany and utilize the co-location model used at the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) to attract economically stable and synergistic high-tech companies and expand the programs offered by CNSE. This project represents a partnership between the CNSE, Clough Harbor & Associates (CHA), and the Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region, which is expected to generate up to 150 executive and high-tech jobs and set the stage for further nanotechnology-enabled economic growth in downtown Albany.
Additionally, the Governor reviewed presentations on the progress being made on the following projects:
Lake George Environmental Park
Warren County was awarded $1.1 million towards the design and construction of a 12-acre park on the site of the former Gaslight Village Amusement Park. The transformation is expected to have significant economic, employment and cultural benefits to the Lake George community.
Proctors Theater was awarded $100,000 towards the restoration of its high-domed ceiling, which is part of a phased $849,000 project to restore the 2,700-seat main stage at the historic Proctors arts and entertainment complex. The renovation project will help position the theater as a leading destination for the performing arts in the Capital Region and a centerpiece of Schenectady's downtown revitalization.
Ski Windham Operation Corp/Windham Mountain Partners, LLC was awarded $1.5 million for the design and construction of an enhanced storm water collection/conveyance system to protect existing infrastructure from flash floods and deterioration of surface water quality at Windham Mountain. The project will help leverage a $2 million private investment.
The University at Albany was awarded $2 million for the construction of its new state-of-the-art facility for biomedical technology development and commercialization. The research facility will include 15,000 square feet of lab space, machinery and equipment, and is expected to add 60 highly skilled, biomedical technical and three administrative support positions. The project will help leverage more than $7 million in private investment.
"Governor Cuomo created Regional Councils to serve as the new approach our state needs to create new jobs and economic opportunities," said Lieutenant Governor Duffy. "Today is an exciting opportunity for an open discussion of the incredible progress Regional Councils are making in the Capital Region and across the state, as well as the steps we are taking to build on that success for the coming year."
"Governor Cuomo's Regional Council initiative is taking New York from a state known as a frustrater of business growth to a facilitator of new business and private sector job development," said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. Through its first year, we have seen job-creating projects in the Capital Region and across the state start to take shape and pay dividends in new jobs and economic activity to boost our local economies."
In the first round of the Regional Council initiative, the Capital Region was awarded $62.7 million in state support through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and CFA process for some 88 projects across the region. 75 percent of the projects have already executed contracts with State funding agencies and 80 percent are now underway as a result of funding they received, with ninety percent of the total projects awarded funding in 2011 on target for a timely completion.
Once completed, the projects awarded funding in the Capital Region through the 2011 CFA will significantly boost the local economy by creating and retaining 2,513 permanent, non-construction jobs and leveraging over $285 million in additional private sector investment.
The Council's progress report and full list of endorsed priority projects for 2012 can be found at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/capital-region.
To learn more about each Regional Council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.