Long Island, Mohawk Valley and North Country REDCs Will Receive Up to $10 Million to Enact Bold, New Strategic Plans for the Future
Part of Round XIII of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced Long Island, the Mohawk Valley and the North Country as the winners of the 2023 $30 million Regional Economic Development Council Challenge Competition. As the winners of this year’s competition, REDCs in Long Island, the Mohawk Valley, and the North Country will receive $10 million in project awards to implement bold proposals to address the housing crisis and bolster workforce development efforts.
“New York’s REDC Challenge Competition is just one of the ways that our state is empowering local leaders to transform their communities and unlock their economic potential,” Governor Hochul said. “This year’s winners crafted proposals to create housing, grow our workforce, and strengthen the talent pipeline, and thanks to state investment, REDCs in Long Island, the Mohawk Valley, and the North Country will get the resources they need to put those plans into action.”
Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, Chair of The Regional Economic Development Councils said, “The 2023 REDC Challenge Competition demonstrates the continued strength and ingenuity of our REDCs. When tasked to take on pressing issues for their regions, they rose to the occasion and created strategies that will deliver results. Congratulations to Long Island, the Mohawk Valley and the North Country for their winning entries focused on workforce development and housing – all New Yorkers will benefit as a result.”
As part of the REDC Round XIII initiative, each of New York’s 10 REDCs identified strategies and actionable approaches to address one of seven challenges faced across state: workforce, housing, population and talent retention, blight, tourism, equity, and sustainability and clean energy. The winning proposals included:
- The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council’s plan to address a significant shortage of residential housing on Long Island. The proposed Long Island Forward program seeks to encourage local municipalities to create “shovel ready” sites through targeted incentives to address this issue in a measurable way.
- The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council’s plan to meet the region’s growing demand for tourism, agribusiness, and STEM-intensive industries, while prioritizing its efforts to eliminate barriers to employment. The council identified 12 catalyst projects to scale successful programs across the region, including established programs like the Institute for Rural Vitality’s Micro-Credentialing program, Mohawk Valley Community College’s Fast Track program, and the Hillside Work Scholarship Connection. The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council’s proposal also includes several projects with a unique ability to engage students at a younger age and open doors to an increasingly diverse working-age population, as well as projects tailored to eliminating employment barriers for persons with disabilities.
- The North Country Regional Economic Development Council’s plan to capitalize on the region’s unique regional workforce asset – Fort Drum, New York’s largest single-site employer. Through an initiative called Next Move NY, the North Country REDC aims to fill the region’s anticipated workforce gap over the next 10 years by retaining transitioning soldiers and their spouses.
The ten proposals were evaluated by the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team, led by the Secretary of State. Other members included Commissioners from the Department of Agriculture & Markets, New York State Energy Research & Development Authority, Department of Labor, Department of Environmental Conservation, Canal Corporation, Homes and Community Renewal as well as Senator Monica R. Martinez and Senator Sean M. Ryan.
New York State Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “The 2023 REDC Challenge Competition seeks to catalyze economic development and growth within the State of New York. Three regions of our great and geographically diverse state have been selected to tackle the most pressing challenges within their communities. I congratulate Long Island, the Mohawk Valley, and the North Country for their award-winning submissions. With a focus on housing, workforce development, and tourism, these strategic investments will strengthen the communities’ economic vision.”
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Alleviating New York's most pressing challenges will help to grow the state’s economy and ensure a sustainable future. The Long Island, Mohawk Valley and North Country regions have created impressive strategic plans rooted in their areas, that will create crucial access to job training and to homes where New Yorkers can anchor and grow their lives and careers.”
The REDC Initiative has awarded over $7.9 billion to more than 9,900 projects since its inception in 2011. Through the ten REDCs, communities, businesses, academic leaders, and members of the public put their unique knowledge and understanding of local priorities and assets to work to deliver collaborative, community-driven economic development across New York State.
This year the Regional Councils reviewed and updated their strategic plans, which identifies an economic vision for the future of the region and develops strategies to capitalize on key regional assets. The Councils’ strategic plans establish priorities for the region and identify opportunities to advance key industries. They will continue to inform funding recommendations and serve as the foundation that guides decisions and supports each region's growth. Updated plans can be reviewed on each region’s websites, which can be accessed here.