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Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Announces Public Forum To Seek Input for Upstate Revitalization Initiative Plan

Public participation encouraged as deadline for submitting plan approaches
(September 04, 2015)

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Announces Public Forum To Seek Input for Upstate Revitalization Initiative Plan

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) is inviting the public to attend a forum on the region’s draft Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) strategic plan. With the once-in-a-generation opportunity afforded by the URI competition, the FLREDC is providing the forum to further encourage input and interaction in order to build regional consensus and develop the strongest, most competitive submission possible.

The schedule for the public forums is as follows:
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
1:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Meeting
Wegmans Conference Center
200 Wegmans Market Street
Rochester, NY 14624

Please register for the forum in advance here: RSVP

The draft FLREDC URI plan can be viewed on the FLREDC website:

Those unable to attend the public forum may submit comments on the URI plan via a special web form. Public comments will be considered until September 18th:

In addition, printed copies of the draft plan are available at every public library branch in the City of Rochester.

The FLREDC is also having a public contest to help determine the best name for the URI plan, during which anyone can vote on three potential names or offer an additional name to be considered by the Council at:

"We encourage the public to provide the vital comments and feedback needed to hone the FLREDC’s URI proposal as we approach the finish line in this very demanding competition,” said FLREDC Co-Chairs, University of Rochester President Joel Seligman and Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman. “Public participation has been an FLREDC hallmark and is an important part of the region’s strategy for success. Our URI proposal works to build strong economic momentum, elevate residents’ feelings of optimism and increase a sense of regional pride in our future.”

On August 19th the FLREDC released its draft Upstate Revitalization Initiative plan and draft 2015 Regional Economic Development Council Progress Report, opening an extended public review period allowing more than a month to consider comments and ideas.

The draft FLREDC URI plan is the result of a comprehensive regional analysis and focuses on three “pillars” – the key industry clusters that build on their significant strength in the region and will drive economic growth with future investment:

  • Optics, Photonics & Imaging;
  • Agriculture & Food Production; and
  • Next-Generation Manufacturing & Technology at strategic hub locations, including Eastman Business Park, WNY STAMP, and the new Rochester Downtown Innovation Zone.

Furthermore, the draft plan focuses on three “enablers” – areas that will facilitate growth in the key pillars:

  • “Pathways to Prosperity”- which supports multiple workforce development efforts aimed at reducing poverty by employing hard-to-place workers;
  • Entrepreneurship & Development; and
  • Higher Education & Research.

As required in the URI, the FLREDC draft plan focuses on significantly increasing the number of permanent private sector jobs that pay above average wages for the region, resulting in a widespread increase in wealth for residents. Implementation of the plan will include extensive private sector investment in the region, representing an overall ratio of at least 5-to-1 private to public investment. In alignment with the ongoing efforts of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, the draft plan includes an additional goal of reducing poverty.

The Upstate Revitalization Initiative is part of Governor Cuomo’s overall efforts aimed at systematically revitalizing the economy of Upstate New York. Modeled after the success of the Buffalo Billion Initiative, the URI is an opportunity for the communities of Upstate New York to address the economic challenges of their regions and work together in bringing jobs back upstate. The Finger Lakes is one of seven regions developing a URI plan to compete for $1.5 billion of URI funds, of which $500 million will be awarded over the next five years to each of the three regions that propose the best strategic plans to transform their economy.

At this upcoming meeting, the FLREDC will also be approving their 2015 Progress Report to compete for a portion of the up to $750 million made available in this year’s Round V of the REDC Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) awards.

To learn more about the FLREDC, visit

About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's transformative 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 four rounds of the REDC process, nearly $3 billion has been awarded to more than 3,100 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans, supporting the creation or retention of more than 150,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit