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Capital Region Economic Development Council to Hold Public Forum In Saratoga Springs on October 3rd

Public is invited to community session to share ideas for an economic development strategy
(September 29, 2011)

Capital Region Economic Development Council to Hold Public Forum In Saratoga Springs on October 3rd

The Capital Region Economic Development Council (CREDC) will hold a public forum at Empire State College in Saratoga Springs on Monday, October 3 to gain essential input for the creation of the council’s five-year strategic economic development plan for the Capital Region.  The meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., in Room 143, 113 West Avenue in Saratoga Springs.

This is the CREDC’s fourth public forum in the region, which includes Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Albany, Greene and Columbia counties.  

CREDC Co-Chairs Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO of SEFCU, and Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will host the meeting.  It will be facilitated by Thomas Wood III, Chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, and a member of the CREDC. The discussion will begin with an overview of the purpose of the regional council.

Dr. Hugh Hammett, Vice President of Enrollment Management, Student Services and External Affairs at Empire State College, will open the session.  Guest speakers from the region, including Meg Benke, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Empire State College; Dan Pickett, Chairman & CEO, Nfrastructure; Penny Hill, Associate Dean, HVCC’s TEC-SMART; and Marcia White, President & Executive Director, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, will outline issues and opportunities facing the region.

The meeting will include an open forum for area business, labor, education, and community leaders, and other interested citizens to provide the council with ideas and suggestions related to economic development.  To allow as many to participate as possible, each individual will be asked to speak for up to three minutes. The council also will accept written testimony at the meeting.

Individuals who plan on attending the forum are encouraged to RSVP to Though not required, registering will assist the planning process.

In addition to these community forums, the CREDC continues to encourage all residents from the region to complete an on-line survey at to maximize public input on this important initiative.
Created by Governor Cuomo, the Regional Economic Development 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.

The Capital Region Economic Development Council is one of ten regional councils across New York that will serve as a single point of contact for economic activity in the region.  Through their strategic planning process, the councils will identify and expedite priority projects that demonstrate the greatest potential for job growth. As part of the initiative, up to $1 billion in state resources will be accessible to eligible economic development projects through existing program grants and tax credits.

Each regional council is crafting a five year strategic plan, which will provide a regional vision for economic development, address critical issues and opportunities, and lay out an implementation roadmap for future growth. 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.

To learn more about each region and their economic development plans, visit