Community Development Experts, Local Elected Officials and Business Leaders to Share Economic Growth Strategies on Long Island
Handbook for Local Governments and Nonprofits Serves as One-Stop-Shop Resource For State Grants And Programs – Available at http://www.ny.gov/growth
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the success of the state’s third regional sustainability conference, which brought together over 600 community development experts, local elected officials and business leaders to share successful economic growth strategies on Long Island. The conference is part of a statewide effort to boost awareness of resources available to local governments and nonprofit organizations to help create sustainable communities across New York. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul hosted the conference in Melville, where she highlighted a handbook that serves as a one-stop-shop resource for State grants – providing context and web links to the complete list of more than 100 innovative funding programs.
“From establishing the Regional Economic Development Councils to investing in mass transit, our administration has worked tirelessly to drive economic growth across Long Island” Governor Cuomo said. “By bringing together stakeholders and leaders at all levels of government, this conference will build on that progress and help ensure that communities throughout Nassau and Suffolk can achieve their vision for continued growth. We will continue building cross-sector partnerships to create new opportunities for the region and ensure a more sustainable Long Island.”
“Governor Cuomo has proven that strategic investment and collaboration across traditional borders can be a game-changer for a region, and this is exemplified everywhere you look here on Long Island,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Under our Governor’s leadership, we are investing more to create and protect jobs, jumpstart growth in new industries and strengthen our urban communities and the results today are undeniable. This region is now a model for the rest of the state and nation to follow.”
The Sustainable Development & Collaborative Governance Conference draws on then-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo’s 1999 conference, “Bridging the Divide: Making Regions Work for Everyone: Shaping the Federal Agenda,” which invited experts and academics in regionalism, smart growth and urban revitalization to present their ideas, followed by panel discussions among a diverse group of stakeholders.
Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York State is prioritizing cross-collaboration between state agencies, local governments and community partners to maximize the collective impact of their efforts. Western New York is a prime example of this bottom-up approach that has shown its success through the Regional Economic Development Councils.
To date, New York State has invested more than $4.2 billion in Long Island helping to advance the region’s economic and infrastructure goals. Since July 2010, Long Island has added 116,600 private sector jobs – an increase of 11.3 percent, bringing the total number of private sector jobs to 1,151,200, as of July 2016. Today, the unemployment rate in Long Island has dropped significantly – moving from 7.6 percent in July 2010 to 4.2 percent during the same time this year.
At the collaborative governance conference, speakers and panel discussions examined case studies, shared best practices and discussed examples of how New York State will continue to serve as a partner in creating sustainable, integrated communities and boosting bottom-up economic development efforts. Two sustainable development experts delivered keynote addresses:
- Shelly Poticha, Director of Natural Resources Defense Council Urban Solutions Initiative,spoke about sustainability and transit oriented development as a way to achieve social, environmental, and economic prosperity across the region.
- Tom Wright, President of the Regional Plan Association, spoke about the importance of promoting downtown revitalization as a means towards regional economic prosperity and climate resiliency.
Attendees included local elected officials, planners, economic development experts, housing advocates and more. The conference highlighted Governor Cuomo’s commitment to mass transit and transit oriented development, as well as projects and investments in Long Island to build back better and stronger after Superstorm Sandy.
At the event, MTA Chairman & CEO Tom Prendergast announced New York State is making major capital investments to improve two central hubs on the Long Island Rail Road. Work has begun on a $121 million initiative to rebuild the Hicksville station, the busiest station on Long Island. In addition, the LIRR has awarded a $64.9 million contract to create a new platform and tracks at the Jamaica station, the LIRR’s central hub and main transfer point. More information is available here.
Additional sustainability and development programs that have been initiated or reformed over the last six years under Governor Cuomo include:
- Cleaner, Greener Regional Sustainability Plans
- Regional Economic Development Councils
- Land Bank Act to convert vacant properties
- Legislation to combat zombie properties
- Complete Streets design initiative
- Upstate Revitalization Initiative
- Hudson Valley Farmland Preservation and
- Southern Tier Agricultural Industry
- Enhancement Programs
- Clean Energy Communities
- Brownfield Redevelopment Reform
- Historic Preservation Tax Credit
- Climate Smart Communities Grants
- Community Risk and Resiliency Act
“New York State is at its best when our public and private sectors come together to support economic development, spur job creation, and invest in the success of our future generations, “ said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “I commend the Governor for his strategic vision and the implementation of New York’s ten regional councils, which have changed the way we do business here in the Empire State. It is our academic, business and community leaders that truly know what each region needs to succeed and we are proud to work with the regional councils to help build a sustainable economy across the entire state.”
"Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we have focused on smart growth and sustainable strategies like never before,” said James S. Rubin, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal. “All the pieces and partners are coming together to create walkable, accessible, attractive, diverse, and vibrant places around New York State where people want to live and work. With this series of conferences Governor Cuomo is taking the next step, keeping the momentum and conversation going between State agencies and local leaders who are on the ground making change happen."
Shelly Poticha, Director of Natural Resources Defense Council Urban Solutions Initiative, said, “Putting people at the center of Long Island's economic strategy is key to improving the quality of life for all. With the Governor’s support we are becoming a leader in sustaining economic growth and our environmental resources and I look forward to seeing this progress continue.”
Tom Wright, President of the Regional Plan Association, said, “By bringing together a diverse set of stakeholders, this conference is helping ignite a critical dialogue about how Long Island can capitalize on the Governor's investments in new transportation, resilience and economic development.
Long Island Association President and CEO Kevin Law said, “Long Island is cultivating a 21st century, innovation economy that capitalizes on our world-class research institutions and highly-skilled workforce, and thus I commend Governor Cuomo for holding a Conference on Sustainable Development to offer additional state resources that will strengthen our communities, grow our economy and lead to smart investments in our region.”
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