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North Country Regional Economic Development Council Discusses Plan Progress and Introduces State Agency Resource Team

(April 20, 2012)

North Country Regional Economic Development Council Discusses Plan Progress and Introduces State Agency Resource Team

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) met today at SUNY Plattsburgh to continue its ongoing work toward Strategic Plan implementation and provide an update on its priority projects. The NCREDC’s Strategic Plan was named a “Best Plan Awardee” in December 2011. Some 70 projects across the region were awarded $103.2 million in state support through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process.

During the meeting, the Council briefed its members and the public on the status of its Strategic Plan implementation and discussed priority project tracking. A brief overview of the 2012 CFA process, including expected adjustments and timeline, were provided to maintain the momentum gained last year. The top priority for all Regional Councils this year is to make significant progress on their implementation agenda, as well as measure the effectiveness of their plan and make adjustments as needed to ensure projects move forward and remain in line with the Councils’ strategies.

“The North Country region differentiated its process and plan by achieving an unprecedented level of collaboration and cooperation from North Country residents, industrial partners and the higher education community,” said Anthony Collins, NCREDC co-chair and president of Clarkson University.

“While we are focused on plan implementation and establishing a dashboard to assess our progress, we remain committed to ensuring broad public participation in the North Country Council’s work. By continuing to engage all of our regional stakeholders, we will capitalize on opportunities to effectively utilize our region’s natural assets, talented labor pool and entrepreneurial spirit while opening up new areas for investment.”

“Our 2012 process is very much underway, and the updates received from our committees and staff were very encouraging," said Garry Douglas, NCREDC Co-Chair and President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. "We can see solid progress on the projects approved in December, substantial preparations for identifying projects this year, a public participation process that will again involve the entire region in updating and implementing the plan, and the launch of efforts by all of our working groups over the next couple of months to document progress on our various strategies and to recommend refinements and updates to the plan itself. In other words, there is a lot going on and we feel very good about where we are at."

The Council announced an executive committee to serve as an advisory group to Co-Chair Tony Collins, Co-Chair Garry Douglas and ESD North Country Regional Director and Council Executive Director Roseanne Murphy. The members of the committee are:

  • Tony Collins, Co-Chair
  • Garry Douglas, Co-Chair
  • Adore Kurtz, Clinton County
  • Jim McKenna, Essex County
  • Kate Fish, Franklin County
  • Dan Wilt, Hamilton County
  • Eric Virkler, Lewis County
  • Jim Wright, Jefferson County
  • Bridget Hart, St. Lawrence

In addition, the Council launched its State Agency Resource Team (SART) to assist the Council in implementing its plan. The Department of State will assist the Executive Director and Council to target state resources; provide technical assistance to the Council and its committees; eliminate obstacles and improve efficiencies; assist in the CFA process; and ensure successful implementation of plan focusing on priority projects.

The Council also welcomed three new members to the group today: David Tomberlin, Well Dressed Foods; Hugh Hill, Malone Chamber of Commerce; and Gordon Crossman, Franklin County Legislature.

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council is one of 10 regional councils across New York that serve as a single point of contact for economic activity in the region, which is composed of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. The NCREDC’s Strategic Plan was named a “Best Plan Awardee” in December 2011. Seventy projects across the region were awarded $103.2 million in state support through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process in the statewide competition. The Plan and priority projects can be found at www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com.

Created by Governor Cuomo in July 2011, 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, performance driven approach which empowers individual areas to develop comprehensive strategic plans that invest in regional solutions to create jobs and economic growth. Each regional council developed and submitted to the state, in November 2011, a plan for the development of their region, which provides a regional vision for economic development, addresses critical issues and opportunities, and lays out an implementation roadmap for future growth. The state works with the regional councils to align 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. Regional Council and CFA awards were made in 2011.

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