Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today continued a statewide Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Progress tour in Johnson City and Endicott, where he toured Southern Tier projects to see, firsthand, their progress and their economic impact in the region.
This is the ninth visit in the Governors REDC Progress Tour that is part of a review of last years strategic economic development plans and job-creating projects.
Following these tours, the Southern Tier REDC provided a formal presentation outlining the progress they have made in advancing last years strategic plans and projects, as well as their endorsed projects for the coming year to the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team at Binghamton Universitys Innovative Technologies Complex.
Through our new regionally-targeted approach to economic development, New York State has empowered individual areas with the tools to design plans that make sense and produce results for their own local economies, Governor Cuomo said. Over the past year, we have seen in the Southern Tier, the Regional Council put their plan to work and as a result, it is creating jobs and growing their economy.
Last year, Governor Cuomo gave us the tools necessary to transform the Southern Tiers economy, and since then we have worked collaboratively to establish strong partnerships across the region to implement our strategic plan and move job-creating projects forward, said Tom Tranter, President & CEO, Corning Enterprises and REDC Co-chair. We have proven that the bottom-up process of investing State resources to create jobs and spur economic development works because it is guided by a diverse group that best understands regional strengths, weaknesses and needs. This year we have received exceptional applications for projects that will continue to build on our efforts to grow and attract businesses, generate private investment and improve the quality of life in the Southern Tier.
Governor Cuomos innovative approach economic development has produced significant returns for the Southern Tier as we have been able to create much-needed jobs by attracting new businesses and growing existing industries, while also revitalizing communities across the region, said Dr. Harvey Stenger, President, Binghamton University and REDC Co-chair. After extensive outreach to community organizations, economic development agencies, academic institutions and the public, we have identified strong projects that will further advance our strategic plan to grow core industries and utilize regional assets to strengthen our economy. We will continue to make smart investments that deliver real results for the people of the Southern Tier.
The Governor visited the following project sites:
Greater Binghamton AirportThe Greater Binghamton Airport was awarded $495,000 to assist in the installation of modern amenities that the travelling public, especially the business traveler, has come to expect at a modern airport. The Airport Terminal Building at the Greater Binghamton Airport plays a critical role in the economy of Broome County and the Southern Tier, serving as a gateway to the region that welcomes prospective businesses and provides a connection to the rest of the world. According to a 2010 study by the State, Greater Binghamton provides for 483 jobs, more than $23M in annual earnings, and more than $52M in annual economic activity. This project is intended to compliment and grow this activity, positioning the airport to accommodate future economic growth. The particular improvements include new Flight Information Display Systems (FIDS) to replace the current antiquated FIDS, and Terminal Finishes, which will replace the carpets within the departure lounge, business center and other public areas.
BAE SystemsThe Governor also visited BAE Systems (BAE), which was significantly impacted by flooding caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011 that jeopardized the jobs of 1,350 employees. The company needed to relocate and considered out of state options. Governor Cuomo worked with the State Legislature to keep BAE and more than 1,350 high-paying, local jobs in the Southern Tier. BAE has submitted a Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) this year requesting funding to support a partnership between BAE and Binghamton University to advance BAE's HybriDrive hybrid-electric propulsion system product lines and explore development of graduate-level courses in electro-mechanics, the growing field of combined mechanical and electrical engineering sciences. A HybriDrive bus was used for todays tour.
Additionally, the Governor reviewed presentations on the progress being made on the following projects:
Norwich PharmaceuticalsNorwich Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was awarded $2 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to create a new laboratory and equipment to conduct testing for new drug development production and ensure the company is a strong competitor in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. This project is part of an overall $39 million private investment by Norwich that will create and retain more than 350 good paying jobs while spurring local economic growth by paying over $214 million in payroll over the next 10 years. Now celebrating its 125th anniversary, Norwich Pharmaceuticals has evolved its business model to become a provider of contract development, manufacturing and clinical services for the pharmaceuticals and biotech industries. The Company will continue to invest in a low humidity manufacturing suite, conduct utility and water system infrastructure improvements, and build a research and development (R&D) laboratory and pilot plant, all in the City of Norwich, Chenango County.
Rural Initiative, Community Revitalization and Shovel Ready ProgramsIn the first round, the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council was awarded $11.3 million in economic development resources to support three regional job creating initiatives. The Community Revitalization Program ($5.8 million), Rural Initiative Fund Program ($3 million) and Shovel Ready Program ($2.5 million) established regional low-interest loan and grant funds to facilitate economic site development and business promotion across the Southern Tier. These programs have funded 18 projects throughout the region, leveraging more than $260 million to create and retain 1,150 jobs while helping to revitalize downtown areas in Southern Tier communities. Due to the geographic nature of the projects, spanning eight counties and many in rural areas, a video was presented to Governor Cuomo detailing the economic impact nine of these projects will have on the region and providing an update on their progress.
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 Southern Tier and across the state, as well the steps we are taking to build on that success for the coming year.
Governor Cuomos 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 Southern Tier 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 Southern Tier region was awarded $49.4 million in state resources through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process to support 58 projects. Currently, 98 percent of these projects have executed contracts with State funding agencies and are now underway as a result of funding they received. Once completed, the projects awarded funding in the Southern Tier region through the 2011 CFA will significantly boost the local economy by creating and retaining nearly 2,000 permanent, non-construction jobs and leveraging more than $370 million in additional private sector and other investment.
The Councils progress report and full list of endorsed priority projects for 2012 can be found at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/southern-tier.
To learn more about each Regional Council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.