North Country Regional Economic Development Council Holds Meeting in Lake Placid
The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) continues to advance its five-year strategic plan to create jobs and grow the economy in the region with the implementation of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s newly announced initiatives, Global NY and the Veterans’ initiative in Round 4 of the Regional Council competition.
At its regional meeting in Lake Placid Friday, the NCREDC appointed members to its Veterans Workgroup, which will promote participation by veterans in the New York State Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process, and develop strategies to encourage other potential CFA applicants to include workforce goals related to veteran’s employment.
The Council co-chairs also reported on the input received from business and community members at the NCREDC’s public forums held earlier this week. The Council hosted seven forums, one in each county, to provide an opportunity for public input on strategic plan implementation and potential projects to be considered in Round 4 of the regional council initiative. The forums were in addition to two state-sponsored CFA workshops that took place in May.
Garry Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and council co-chair, said “The North Country is well positioned for the upcoming regional economic development process. Some of the new elements, such as Global NY which is focused on building international business and investment, are keyed to our region's strengths. And, we can see that businesses, communities and organizations across the North Country really grasp the regional plan and have become more and more adept at creating strong proposals. The stronger the submissions, the stronger our case will be to once again advance the North Country economy through well targeted state investments.”
Anthony Collins, president of Clarkson University and council co-chair, said, “In the past week, we held public forums in each of the seven counties and continue to gain valuable input to strengthen the plan as well as the process. The Governor’s approach to economic development gives us an opportunity to set our own priorities based on the contributions of community residents, business leaders and the elected officials across the North Country and an avenue to bring greater awareness to opportunities that benefit all of New York State. For example, the new statewide initiatives to leverage the skills and experiences of our veterans are aligned to the North Country REDC’s commitment to Fort Drum and the many veterans who have served our country.”
In other action at the meeting, the Council adopted the North Country Health Systems Redesign Commission (NCHSRC) Report as a regional council planning document. The NCHSRC was developed to create an effective, integrated health care delivery system for preventative, medical, behavioral, and long term care services to all communities throughout New York's North Country. NCHSRC was charged with assessing the total scope of care in the North Country, the regional population's health care needs and the system's ability to meet them.
It also provided recommendations on ways to ensure that essential providers survive or that appropriate capacity is developed to replace failing providers and a restructuring and re-capitalization agenda. The NCHSRC also identified opportunities for merger, affiliation and/or partnership among providers that will maintain or improve access and quality, financial viability and promote integrated care; made specific recommendations that providers and communities can implement to improve access, coordination, outcomes and quality of care, and population health; and developed recommendations for the distribution of re-investment grants. The full report can be found on the Council’s website at www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com.
The NCREDC also endorsed efforts by SUNY Canton and Clarkson University to put the North Country in the running as the location for the State’s College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cyber Security as outlined in the New York State budget process. The new college would become the first in the nation devoted to homeland security and would establish integrated education, training and research in a comprehensive public-private partnership.
During the open session, Randy Douglas, chair of the Essex County Board of Supervisors, briefed council members and public attendees on the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program and the ongoing rebuilding efforts in the Towns of Jay and Keene. The program provides additional rebuilding and revitalization assistance to communities which were severely damaged by Hurricanes Sandy and Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The Council made a final call for businesses, educational institutions, local governments, not-for-profit groups and other stakeholders across the seven-county North Country region to apply for state funding through the CFA process. Up to $750 million in economic development resources from 33 state agency funding programs is available. The deadline for CFA submission is 4 p.m. on Monday, June 16. The CFA is available online at https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/.
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 council’s strategic plan and progress reports are available online 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.