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New York City Regional Economic Development Council Kicks Off New Year and Introduces Three New Members

(February 23, 2016)

New York City Regional Economic Development Council Kicks Off New Year and Introduces Three New Members

The New York City Regional Economic Development Council (NYCREDC) today held its first meeting of 2016, at the New York Genome Center in Manhattan. The meeting provided the Council with an opportunity to kick-off strategic planning for Round VI, report on progress to date and begin discussions of new initiatives, including the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, proposed in Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's 2016-2017 Executive Budget.

"We have had tremendous success reducing unemployment in the state since Governor Cuomo was elected in 2010, with about 500,000 jobs created here in New York City," said Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul. "We want to make companies from around the country and around the world look at New York City and New York State, to locate their businesses, because we have the most nimble and educated workforce that is able to adapt quickly to changing economic circumstances."

During today's meeting, the Council also welcomed three new members: Lisa Futterman, regional consultant for the Workforce Development Institute; Kinda Younes, Executive Director of the Industrial and Technology Assistance Corporation (ITAC); and Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

"We are excited to add three new members to the New York City Regional Economic Development Council," said President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. "Their extensive and diverse backgrounds will help further our cohesive and strategic plan of action for the many development opportunities throughout the region."

Council co-chair Winston Fisher invited businesses, organizations, labor and education representatives, as well as members of the public, from New York, Queens, Bronx, Richmond, and Kings Counties to participate in the public meeting.

"As we kick off the sixth year of the Regional Council Initiative, we are excited to move forward with the priority projects we identified last year and to advance the Council's strategic vision for economic growth in the City," said Co-Chair Fisher. "This year we will continue to build on our success over the past five years expanding the region's high-tech, creative, and tourism sectors; supporting workforce development initiatives; promoting the increased development of affordable housing; and helping to create a healthier, better-planned urban environment. We applaud Gov. Cuomo's bottom-up approach to economic development and look forward to working with other members of the community to foster sustainable job growth across all five boroughs."

Sayar Lonial, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering, and Jennifer Pautz, Director of Government Affairs at New York University, gave a presentation on the NYU Veterans Community Incubator, which was awarded a $1 million grant in Round V, to create a tech hub in Sunset Park, Brooklyn to support veterans who are seeking to re-enter the workforce or start their own companies, and to provide an entrepreneurial network for them.

Rebecca Birmingham, Creative Director and General Counsel at Macro Sea and New Lab, made a presentation on the Smart Cities Innovation Center at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a New York City Economic Development Corporation comprehensive program to help entrepreneurs and innovators address New York City's most pressing urban challenges in sectors such as energy, waste, transportation, agriculture and water. The Smart Cities Innovation Center received a $750,000 grant in Round V.

In December, the New York City Regional Council was awarded $84.1 million for 92 projects. The NYCREDC, which encompasses New York, Richmond, Bronx, Queens, and Kings Counties, is one of 10 regional councils across New York State. There are now 323 projects across the region that have been awarded a total of $320.02 million in support from the State, through the REDC initiative.