Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched his North Country Regional Economic Development Council, which will redesign the relationship between the state government and businesses to stimulate regional economic development and create jobs statewide. The Governor was joined by local officials, business leaders, and community members to launch the Regional Council at SUNY Potsdam.
The North Country Regional Council will be led by Anthony "Tony" Collins, President of Clarkson University, and Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, who will both serve as Regional Co-Chairs. The Regional Council will coordinate the economic development of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. A complete list of members of the North Country Regional Council is included below.
"For too long, Albany has relied on one-size-fits-all economic development plans that do not take into account the unique assets and challenges of each region," Governor Cuomo said. "Today, we are taking a new approach. With the Regional Councils, we will empower individual areas like the North Country to undertake a regionally specific plan for job creation and growth. This announcement sends a clear message that New York is open for business."
The Regional Councils represent a fundamental shift in the state's approach to economic development, from a top-down development model to a community-based approach that emphasizes regions' unique assets, harnesses local expertise, and empowers each region to set plans and priorities.
Currently, New York State's economic development efforts are managed through dozens of separate state and local agencies. The Regional Councils will now bring together stakeholders in every region of the state to serve as a coordinated point of contact for economic development. Each Regional Council will be chaired by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and will be led by two Regional Co-Chairs from the business and academic communities. Additional membership is comprised of local leaders from business, academia, labor, agriculture, nonprofits, and community-based organizations.
Each Regional Council will develop a plan for the development of their region. The state will work with the Regional Councils to align state resources and policies, eliminate unnecessary barriers to growth and prosperity, and streamline the delivery of government services and programs to help the Regional Councils carry out their plans for development.
Governor Cuomo has already made historic changes to the state's economic development grant application process to support the Regional Councils. Through a new Consolidated Funding Application that combines resources from dozens of existing programs, the Regional Councils can now apply for $1 billion in state funding for projects they determine to be part of their regional strategy.
Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy said, "Governor Cuomo's groundbreaking economic development strategy will put New York back on the right path. These Regional Councils will focus on what each specific region actually needs, ensuring we take full advantage of our resources and keep businesses and investment here in New York. This approach will enable every section of the state to prepare individualized economic plans and will bring jobs and growth back to New York."
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, "Governor Cuomo's Regional Councils create a more efficient business model that empowers individual regions to determine what is best for their own communities and incentivizes thoughtful economic policies through competition. The economic development strategies of Albany's past have failed to solve the challenges we face today and New York can no longer afford to have the worst business climate in the nation. I am excited to work with every region to maximize their potential and bring investment and jobs to New York State."
Anthony "Tony" Collins, President of Clarkson University and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Council, said, "Governor Cuomo's plan for Regional Councils empowers our local stakeholders to pursue their own destiny across the North Country region. Colleges and universities across all ten regions are positioned to leverage the energy of our campuses to help create jobs and economic opportunities in their own backyards. As we thrive, our communities will thrive through partnerships that create, innovate, and reach globally. Governor Cuomo's community-based, competitive approach will generate strategies for creating jobs and investing in new business, and will enable us to preserve the unique character and natural beauty of the region. It will also bring real results by offering competitive grants and tax incentives to the most promising businesses. I look forward to working with Governor Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Duffy, and my fellow Council members as we move forward with this plan."
Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Council, said, "This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a new and long overdue approach to economic development. It recognizes that New York consists of a number of distinct regional economies requiring a region-by-region approach if we really want to maximize our economic future. The North Country is especially ready to take advantage of this new approach, with a strong sense of its strategic opportunities and a proven capacity for effective partnership. It will be an honor to serve as Co-Chair with Tony Collins and to work with Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Duffy to build upon the reforms of the last six months and create an economic development program for the North Country and the state that is second to none. Onward and upward!"
The ten Regional Councils cover the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, New York City, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York.
To learn more about the Regional Councils, please visit www.nyopenforbusiness.com
North Country Regional Council Members
Regional Co-ChairsAnthony "Tony" G. Collins, Ph.D., President, Clarkson University Garry Douglas, President, North Country Chamber of Commerce
General Members Bridget Hart, President, Kinney Drugs, John Martin, Operations Director, Alcoa Inc. Donna Wadsworth, Communications Director, International Paper Company - Ticonderoga Mill Jon Greenwood, Dairy Farmer/Former VP of NYS Farm Bureau Daniel Wilt, Pres of Wilt IndustriesLisa Weber, CEO, Timeless Frames and Timeless Decor John R. Donoghue, President, Plattsburgh-Saranac Lake Building and Construction Trades Council Dr. John Ettling, President, SUNY Plattsburgh Cali Brooks, Executive Director, Adirondack Community Trust (ACT) Mark E. Tryniski, President & CEO, Community Bank Ron Davis, Plant Manager, Agri-Mark/McCadam Cheese CompanyCarl A. McLaughlin, Executive Director, Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization Terry Gach, Vice President Institutional Advancement, Trudeau InstituteJames W. Wright, Executive Director, Development Authority of the North Country Kate Fish, Executive Director, Adirondack North Country Association Anne L. Merrill, Executive Director, Lewis County Chamber of Commerce William P. Murray, Executive Director, Council for International Trade, Technology, Education and Communication James McKenna, President & CEO, Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism Ador Flynn Kurtz, President & CEO, The Development Corporation of Clinton County
Elected Officials Chairman of Jefferson County LegislatureChairman of Clinton County LegislatureChairman of St. Lawrence County LegislatureChairman of Franklin County LegislatureChairman of Essex Board of Supervisors Chairman of Hamilton Board of Supervisors Chairman of Lewis Board of SupervisorsMayor of the City of Watertown Mayor of the City of PlattsburghTown Supervisor of Potsdam
Elected officials will serve in an ex-officio basis and will participate in discussions and the planning process. In regions composed of more than two counties (except for the New York City region), members will include:
- the chief executive or supervisor of each county; and
- the chief executive or supervisor of the three municipalities with the largest population (limited to one municipal representative per county)
10 Regional Economic Development Councils
- Capital Region (Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington)
- Central New York (Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego)
- Finger Lakes (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates)
- Long Island (Nassau, Suffolk)
- Mid-Hudson (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester)
- Mohawk Valley (Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie)
- New York City (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond)
- North Country (Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence)
- Southern Tier (Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins)
- Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara)