Capital Region Economic Development Council Submits Round VI Progress Report
The Capital Region Economic Development Council (CREDC) today announced it has submitted its progress report, “The Capital Region CREATES,” to the meet New York State’s October 3 deadline. The 2016 progress report provides detail on the Council’s achievements in implementing its five-year Strategic Plan to expand economic opportunity across the Capital Region, and further develop the blueprint set forth in the Capital 20.20 plan, including the new Downtown Revitalization Initiative in Glens Falls.
In furtherance of these goals, strategies and initiatives, this report recommends 29 priority projects to advance the region’s growth objectives. These projects represent a total proposed state investment of $25 million across the eight-county region. Collectively, they support the creation of 505 new jobs, the retention of 1,267 existing jobs, and 994 construction jobs.
Regional Council co-chair James J. Barba, president of Albany Medical Center said, “This report details our region’s economic progress and includes exciting proposals for investments that will build on our successes and harness new opportunities for growth across our eight counties. Building on input from thousands of individuals across our region, our work recognizes and reflects our region’s unique assets, and the tremendous impact innovative and creative individuals and entities have had on our region’s economy and quality of life.”
Regional Director Michael Yevoli said, “The theme for this year’s report was developed to reflect the assets of the Capital Region’s creative economy. By understanding that creativity is necessary for growth and innovation, we have identified projects and developed a strategy that will allow us to capitalize on those resources and position the region for positive gains and long term improvement.”
Public engagement and outreach remains critical for the Council in creating opportunities and spurring project applications. The CREDC held CFA workshops in all eight Capital Region counties immediately following the CFA announcement. More than 100,000 emails were distributed to individuals in the region with Council updates, leading to more than 100 one-on-one meetings and more than 60 tours of proposed projects.
Earlier this year, the CREDC selected Glens Falls as its nominee for the 2016 Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). The Council’s proposal for Glens Falls is the “AWE” District, composed of 19 projects based on Arts, Wellness, and Entertainment. The district would be centered around Hudson, South, Warren, and Glen streets, creating a compact, but traditional and walkable downtown region. Recent investments to the area include 50 projects valued at $226 million, which are expected to create 460 permanent jobs and 920 construction jobs.
The progress report can be found at www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/capital-region.
The report includes the region’s strong performance record in implementing its strategies and projects since the first round of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative in 2011. The first five rounds of funding resulted in $353.9 million in State funding to support nearly 500 projects that are completed or in progress and have committed to create or retain more than 7,000 jobs in the region.
Round VI of the REDC initiative will award more than $750 million in state funding and tax incentives, including up to $175 million in capital grants and up to $70 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects and activities identified by the Councils as regional priorities in their communities. Additionally, over $510 million from state agency programs will be awarded through the CFA process.
Regional Council priorities in 2016 include:
- Support the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Plan, and begin to identify priority projects in the defined community;
- Implementing strategies through the project pipeline;
- Training the workforce for today and tomorrow; and
- Measuring the performance and progress of the strategic plan and CFA projects.
To encourage the implementation of the Regional Economic Development Councils’ strategic plans and to continue to motivate investment opportunities and job creation, the Regional Councils will compete in 2016 for up to $175 million in capital funds and $70 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects identified by the Regional Councils as priorities in their regions.
By incentivizing the implementation of the strategic plans, Regional Councils, businesses, educational institutions, local governments, not-for-profit groups and other stakeholders are further motivated to work together to accomplish the regional vision. While project funding will be awarded to all 10 Regional Councils through the 2016 CFA, the competition places emphasis on Regional Council performance and action to implement strategies. Encouraging genuine cooperation among the REDCs and representatives of the community is critical to achieving economic development success.
The Council also wished to thank former University at Albany president Dr. Robert Jones for his hard work and commitment to the CREDC and the Round VI Progress Report. Dr. Jones resigned as Council co-chair after announcing his decision to accept a new position as chancellor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Robert Jones was an extraordinary partner to me and to the entire Capital Region through his leadership as president of the University at Albany and as the co-chair of our Council. He insisted on deepening our public engagement and expanding our collective impact as leaders in our community. He will be greatly missed by his many partners, colleagues and friends. We wish him well as he embarks on his next chapter,” said CREDC co-chair James J. Barba.
Round VI Awards
In 2016, all 10 REDCs will be competing for a designation as a Top Performer. Five Top Performers will be selected and will receive up to $25 million in Empire State Development Capital Grant funding, with the remaining five regions receiving up to $10 million in Empire State Development Capital Grant funding. Additionally, each region will be eligible for up to $15 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract and grow businesses in the region.
Later this fall, the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team (SIAT), which is comprised of NYS agency commissioners and outside experts, will receive in-person presentations from each of the 10 REDCs as part of its review and recommendation process. The 2016 REDC awards will be announced before the end of the year.
About the Consolidated Funding Application
As part of Governor Cuomo’s efforts to improve the state’s economic development model, a NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA process marks a fundamental shift in the way state resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs. The CFA serves as the single entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects use the CFA as a support mechanism to access multiple state funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier, and more productive. To access the CFA, please visit https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa.
About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo's approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After five rounds of the REDC process, nearly $4 billion has been awarded to more than 4,100 job creation and community development projects consistent with each regions strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 200,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.