North Country Regional Economic Development Council Holds Meeting in Plattsburgh
The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) today held its first public meeting of 2014 at SUNY Plattsburgh. The council met to provide an overview of last year’s presentation to the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team (SIAT) and its Strategic Plan reviews and awards. The North Country was named a “Top Performer” in December 2013 as a part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council and Consolidated Funding Application initiative, and was awarded $81.3 million for 70 projects across the seven-county region. In addition, the Council discussed next steps in 2014, including restructuring of the group and the launch of additional council initiatives going forward to grow the North Country economy and create jobs.
During the meeting, the NCREDC’s Work Groups updated the council on their continued progress and Co-Chair Garry Douglas introduced an additional Work Group, Global North Country, which will focus its efforts on implementing the Governor’s new Global NY initiative into the region’s Strategic Plan. Global NY will link the Governor’s Regional Council and START-UP NY initiatives to accelerate the state’s success in growing exports and attracting foreign direct investment.
“With broad public participation and support from across the North Country region, we are actualizing the vision established in 2011 to create family-sustaining jobs and build an innovative economy that meets the region’s needs and unique opportunities,” said Anthony Collins, President of Clarkson University and Council Co-Chair. “Building from our successes to leverage private-public investment in projects across the region, we continue to be forward-looking at new initiatives and collaborations to create and retain jobs, as well as sustain our transformation to make the North Country a premier destination for community residents, entrepreneurs and visitors alike.”
“The North Country is continuing to work together in an unprecedented way through the Regional Council, and today’s meeting was a great start to another year of shared support and partnership,” said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. “We refreshed and re-launched our committees and work groups, began the development of a comprehensive Global North Country initiative, which will build upon all of our past and continuing Canadian Connection work, had timely updates on key new tools such as START-UP NY and our Innovation Hot Spot, and maintained our strong commitment to implementation of all of our on-going projects and strategies. We foresee another strong year ahead on behalf of the North Country economy.”
The session was open to public comment and questions. In addition, Council members provided an overview of the START-UP NY program and the Innovation Hot Spots program. The North Country, through Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, was one of the first five regions across New York State to be awarded funding to launch Innovation Hot Spot programs. A new facet of the REDC initiative in 2013, the Innovation Hot Spots Competition is designed to make New York State a leader in growing new technology-based companies by attracting venture capital and industry-sponsored research spending.
The Shipley Center for Innovation at Clarkson University is leading the North Country’s Innovation Hot Spot and will scale up the University’s existing outreach and programs to provide services and expertise for technology-driven ideas and new business start-ups through partnerships based in Plattsburgh, Watertown, Ogdensburg, Massena and Saranac Lake. The North County Innovation Hot Spot is unique in how it will leverage SUNY and private colleges throughout the region to maximize the footprint and impact to students, educators and local entrepreneurs in their own communities. Through a consortium of numerous regional entities, the North County will work as one unified entity to help entrepreneurs succeed and maximize access to the region’s intellectual capital.
The NCREDC, which is composed of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, is one of 10 regional councils across New York state that serve as a single point of contact for economic activity in the various regions. The NCREDC was named a “Top Performer” in 2013 and 2012, in addition to its Strategic Plan being named a “Best Plan Awardee” in December 2011. There are 222 projects across the region that have been awarded a total of $274.7 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.
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. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.