Newly Created Alliance Supports Anti-Poverty Efforts in Central New York
Initiative Aims to Address Poverty in Five County Region as Outlined in the "CNY Rising" Plan - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Request for Proposals have been issued for the $30 million Alliance for Economic Inclusion anti-poverty initiative in Central New York. The AEI is a product of the successful CNYRising Upstate Revitalization Initiative plan submitted by the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council which was tasked with addressing poverty in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Oswego and Onondaga Counties. The AEI is comprised of a group of 24 community leaders from each of the five counties selected to represent the diversity of governments, businesses, schools and economic opportunities and challenges as identified by the community. Onondaga County will fund the chosen projects and then be reimbursed by the state. The county will allocate $6 million annually over five years for the initiative. That funding will be made available through a CNYRising Upstate Revitalization Initiative Grant.
The $30 million for anti-poverty efforts through the AEI will complement $20 million the state has already awarded for the New York State Syracuse Promise Scholarship Fund which will provide scholarships to Syracuse city school graduates.
"New York is focused on building up local communities from the ground up and with this initiative, we expand economic opportunities for the entire region," Governor Cuomo said. "By investing in our most vulnerable communities, we can ensure that New Yorkers from all economic backgrounds have the opportunity to pick themselves up out of poverty while helping Central New York continue to rise."
The RFP is seeking proposals that; create career pathways for adults and youth in distressed communities; develop access to economic opportunity and wealth by intentionally attracting and growing jobs in low income and distressed communities; create tools and incentives for educational attainment and build wealth and next-generation community leadership. The RFP was issued by the Onondaga County Division of Purchase.
"Fighting poverty is an essential element of bringing back our Upstate communities," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Statewide Chair of the Regional Economic Development Council. "Through this plan, the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council is ensuring its economic revitalization initiatives know no bounds and that every family in every county throughout Central New York has an opportunity to prosper from its successes."
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, "Congratulations to the members of the AEI on this important milestone! The collaborative work from our neighbors in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison and Oswego Counties will mean that our communities can start to see significant change occur and real solutions to the problems we have only discussed for too long. I am grateful to Governor Cuomo for his continued partnership on this important issue and Onondaga County is proud to be a leader in this effort and look forward to working with all of these partners in the coming months."
The regionally focused initiative will tackle health and safety issues, secure affordable housing for those who need it and increase career and technical educational opportunities. Priority will be given to initiatives that incorporate features such as addressing systems change, offer cost-effective solutions that are scalable to a larger audience, collaboration, partnership and/or coalition based solutions and to sustainable solutions that will exist after the funding period has ended.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Governor Cuomo's support of impactful anti-poverty initiatives such as the Alliance for Economic Inclusion is providing New Yorkers with access to the tools they need to succeed. The AEI investment will create a partnership between New York State and regional stakeholders to work together to combat poverty in the region, helping Central New York to continue to rise."
"We as a community cannot experience real and true economic growth until we fully address the systemic poverty issue in our community and our region. This process allows the community and region to come together and offer real and substantive ideas that prepare our people for their financial future. Thank you to Governor Cuomo and Onondaga County for leading the way." said Sharon Owens, Co-Chair of Greater Syracuse HOPE and CEO of Syracuse Community Connections.
"We are very grateful that Governor Cuomo and to Onondaga County for establishing a mechanism for getting these much needed funds out into our communities," said Tim Penix, Vice-President and Director of Syracuse Educational Opportunity Center and member of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council and Alliance for Economic Inclusion.
CNYREDC Co-Chairs Upstate Medical Center President Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena and CenterState CEO Robert M. Simpson said, "Access to economic opportunity is a top priority for the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council, and one that requires a robust system of partners and solutions. The Alliance for Economic Inclusion will support and help affected communities work together to identify options that will assist in ensuring that everyone in the region has a solid path towards prosperity. We are incredibly grateful to Governor Cuomo for his continued support for our targeted efforts."
Accelerating Central NY Rising
Today's announcement complements "Central NY Rising," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.7 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.
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