Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched his Capital Region 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 Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy, local officials, business leaders, and community members to launch the Regional Council at Schenectady County Community College.
The Capital Region Regional Council will be led by Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Michael Castellana, President and CEO of SEFCU, who will both serve as Regional Co-Chairs. The Regional Council will coordinate the economic development of Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties. A complete list of members of the Capital Region Regional Council is included below.
"New York can no longer afford one-size-fits-all economic development plans that ignore the unique assets and challenges of the state's many diverse regions," Governor Cuomo said. "Today, we are taking a groundbreaking approach that will send a clear message that New York is open for business. With the Regional Councils, we will empower individual areas like Capital Region to chart their own course for economic growth, bringing jobs and investment to New York."
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 community. 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 new economic development strategy will put New York back on the right path. By focusing on what our regions actually need, we will take full advantage of our resources and keep businesses and jobs here in New York. The Regional Councils will enable every section of the state to prepare individualized economic plans and today's announcement will make regions, like the Capital Region, the drivers of their own success."
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, "For too many years, New York has had a poor business climate, hurting families and local economies. Governor Cuomo's Regional Councils will create a more efficient approach to economic development that empowers individual regions to determine what is best for their own communities and incentivizes thoughtful economic policies through competition. I look forward to working with every region to maximize their potential and bring investment and jobs to New York."
Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Co-Chair of the Capital Region Regional Council, said, "Governor Cuomo understands that an interwoven infrastructure of business, academia, and government will provide the foundation essential to create jobs and strengthen the economy. Working together we are truly more than the sum of our individual parts. I look forward to working with him, the Lieutenant Governor, and my colleagues here in the Capital Region in this effort to tap into our great strengths and grow our future."
Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO of SEFCU and Co-Chair of the Capital Region Regional Council, said, "It is truly an honor to join the Governor in a process that will open the doors of New York for business. This new paradigm for economic development will change the rules of the game and ensure that New York regains our position as a capital of commerce. The Regional Councils are an innovative and forward-thinking approach to economic development. By bringing together local leaders from an array of public and private sector communities, Governor Cuomo has empowered a diverse set of voices to work together in pursuit of a common goal a better future for the Capital Region and for all of New York State."
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
Capital Region Regional Council Members
Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO, SEFCU
Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Karen Astorga, President, Plumb Engineering
Joseph F. Raccuia, President & CEO, Finch Paper LLC
Gary Dake, President, Stewart's Shops
Bill Hart, Controller, Irving Tissue Inc.
Victor R. Abate, Vice President, Renewable Energy, General Electric
Peg A. Murphy, Corporate Secretary/Director of Human Resources, Espey Manufacturing & Electronics Corporation
Omar Usmani, Executive Partner, Aeon Nexus Corporation
Karen L. Astorga, Founder and President, Plumb Engineering P.C.
Ann C. Moynihan, President, Documentation Strategies Inc.
Linda Davis Pedlar, Owner, LDP Consulting Group, Inc.
Christine Edgerly, President, Adirondack Mechanical Services LLC
Jeff Stark, President, Greater Capital Region Building Trades Council
George M. Philip, President, University at Albany
Karen Bilowith, President & CEO, The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region
James J. Barba, President & CEO, Albany Medical Center
Todd Erling, Executive Director, Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation
F. Michael Tucker, President & CEO, Center for Economic Growth
Dennis Brobston, President, Saratoga Economic Development Corporation
Linda Hillman, President, Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce
Donald E. Gibson, President, CEO & Director, The Bank of Greene County
Albany County Executive Chairman of Schenectady County Legislature Rensselaer County Executive Chairman Saratoga Board of Supervisors Chairman Warren Board of Supervisors Chairman Columbia Board of Supervisors Chairman of Greene County Legislature Chairman Washington Board of Supervisors Mayor of the City of Albany Mayor of the City of Schenectady Mayor of the City of Troy
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)