North Country Regional Economic Development Council Provides Progress Update at Regional Council Round Three Launch in Albany
The co-chairs for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) told Governor Andrew Cuomo this week that the seven-county region is “punching above our past weight and supporting one another on almost a daily basis.” Garry Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, and Tony Collins, president of Clarkson University, were in Albany Wednesday, May 15 for the launch of the third round of Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The co-chairs presented a progress update on the council’s activities since winning recognition as a “Top Performer” for its strategic plan Progress Report in Round Two.
“The Governor’s region by region approach to economic development is really working for the North Country,” said Douglas. “We have developed a sound plan that is being steadily implemented and we have come together as a seven county region for the first time, punching above our past weight and supporting one another on almost a daily basis. The launch of round three brings fresh opportunities to turn our plans and strategies into reality, and we’re ready and anxious thanks to the continuing volunteer efforts of all of our council members and dozens of others who are involved in our work groups and committees. Onward and upward!”
During the presentation, the co-chairs highlighted the region’s continued collaboration across all industries, and provided a brief overview on the success of its priority projects, including the launch of its Infrastructure Fund; its actions on the Path Through History initiative; and the Cleaner, Greener Sustainability Plan.
“The North Country is already attracting and nurturing entrepreneurial pioneers to innovative clusters as supported in our regional plan,” said Collins. “Through broad public participation and the networks we have developed across the region through this process, we are well-positioned for a proposal to further leverage our assets through the Governor’s Innovation Hot Spots initiative being launched in round three. By bringing our region’s higher education and manufacturing sectors together to incubate high-tech innovation, coupled with unparalleled access to world-class recreation, we can further attract private investment, new business and jobs to the region.”
In Round Three of the REDC competition, $760 million in state funding and tax incentives will be awarded: $220 million ($150 million in capital and $70 million in tax credits) for the council competition and $540 million for state supported programs through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process. Five regions identified as “top performers” will receive $25 million each and the remaining will compete for the balance of $25 million. Each region is also eligible for up to $10 million in tax credits.
Details for the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) were also announced Wednesday. Application materials will be available June 3, and the CFA process will open to applicants on June 17. Currently, the NCREDC is preparing for the launch of the CFA. Details on upcoming training sessions and workshops will be announced soon.
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 2012 on the heels of its Strategic Plan being named a “Best Plan Awardee” in 2011. One hundred fifty-two projects across the region have been awarded a total of $193.4 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 composed 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 two rounds of competitive awards, nearly 1,500 projects are receiving support to put people back to work, get the economy back on track, and restore New York State as the Empire State. For more information on the regional councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.