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Southern Tier REDC Launches Public Survey Seeking Feedback on Region’s Proposals for Upstate Revitalization Initiative

Council Invites Public to Weigh In On Proposed Initiatives For Southern Tier’s Submission For $1.5 Billion Competition Designed To Boost Upstate Economy
(July 14, 2015)

Southern Tier REDC Launches Public Survey Seeking Feedback on Region’s Proposals for Upstate Revitalization Initiative

Online Survey Available Here

The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC) has launched an online public survey designed to provide individuals from the eight-county Southern Tier region with an opportunity to voice their opinion as the Council develops its plan for this year’s $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) competition. The survey seeks public feedback on four initiatives recently identified by the Council that will focus and guide the region’s strategic direction and priorities for its URI plan. The region’s final plan will be submitted this fall as part of the competition with six other Upstate regions for an award of $500 million in economic development resources.

The survey is available here. The short questionnaire is designed to take no more than ten minutes, and the survey responses will assist the STREDC in its planning process. All information collected through this survey is strictly confidential, self-identification is optional, and responses will only be used for planning purposes.

Earlier this year, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, a competition backed by a $1.5 billion commitment to revitalize areas of Upstate New York in need of investments to jumpstart economic activity. Seven of the state’s 10 economic development regions are competing for the $1.5 billion, of which three regions will be awarded $500 million each, to be allocated over five years. The Southern Tier Region – which includes Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins counties – is among those regions competing for this influx of critical state resources geared towards strengthening the economy and establishing sustainable economic growth.

The Southern Tier’s URI will identify the region’s strengths and strategize ways for the region to create well-paying, permanent private sector jobs and lure significant private sector investment. The following four initiatives have been proposed by the STREDC to serve as the framework for the region’s URI plan:

Promoting the Southern Tier’s Innovative Culture Initiative
The goal of the Promoting the Southern Tier’s Innovative Culture Initiative is to leverage the region’s assets, including quality of life, natural resources, world-class academic institutions, research facilities, and the region’s rich history and current capacity for innovation as magnets to:

  • Lure talent and develop a pool of entrepreneurs;
  • Attract investment, particularly foreign investment;
  • Strengthen the tourism infrastructure and use it as a tool to expose the high quality of life to visitors and prospective new talent;
  • Brand and promote the region’s increasingly vibrant communities, rich capacity for innovation and natural resources; and
  • Empower residents to be regional ambassadors.

Southern Tier Food and Agriculture Initiative
The Southern Tier Food and Agriculture Initiative seeks to establish the region as a world-recognized leader in new agriculture technology and as a key food supplier for the Eastern Coast of the United States by enhancing production, processing, and distribution across the region, while simultaneously strengthening linkages to growing the tourism and manufacturing industries. This initiative will include four components:

  • Increasing the diversity and access to food processing facilities around the region;
  • Increasing distribution by expanding opportunities within the region and by utilizing the Southern Tier’s strategic location and transportation network to increase distribution of agricultural products from the Southern Tier to expanded markets outside the region;
  • Developing and deploying new agricultural technologies; and
  • Promoting and leveraging existing and new support structures for growers and producers in the region, including the Governor’s new $30 million Southern Tier Agricultural Economic Development Fund, to help expand farms and increase their profitability.

Advanced Industries: Nexus for Transportation Products, Components and System Controls
Within the Southern Tier’s highly-developed advanced manufacturing industry, the transportation products, components and system controls manufacturing sector offers the greatest potential for significant growth in terms of supply chain, technology infusion for business expansion, employee hiring, foreign investment and exports. This sector currently employs over 11,000 workers in the region, with an average annual wage of $73,800. To support and advance this sector in the Southern Tier, this initiative proposes three core investment strategies:

  • Recharge the Skills Pipeline
  • Commit to Innovation and Infusion of Technology; and
  • Enhance the Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem.

Greater Binghamton Innovation Ecosystem Initiative
The Greater Binghamton Innovation Ecosystem Initiative will focus on revitalization of the Greater Binghamton metropolitan area, the largest urban center in the Southern Tier. It is comprised of three contiguous communities located in Broome County including, the City of Binghamton, Endicott and Johnson City. This initiative, a partnership between the municipalities, local academic institutions and private industry, will create jobs, leverage Binghamton University and private sector investment, reverse urban outmigration, create vibrant urban centers, support smart growth principles, and foster a robust innovation ecosystem by creating three innovation Districts (iDistricts).

Each iDistrict will be centered on a major Innovation Driver or Cultivator and will include urban revitalization focused on development of quality communities and neighborhoods to support investment in the area, as well as positioning the Southern Tier as a leader in technology and healthcare. These include the City of Binghamton iDistrict, Endicott’s Huron Campus and Urban Core iDistrict, and Johnson City Health and Cultural iDistrict.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s transformative approach to economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans to strengthen and grow their regional economies. 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. After four rounds of the REDC process, nearly $3 billion has been awarded to more than 3,100 projects consistent with each region’s Strategic Plan and are projected to result in the creation or retention of more than 150,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, please visit