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Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Presents Progress Update to Strategic Implementation Assessment Team

Council Presents Progress, Achievements and Endorsed Priority Projects for the Third Round of the Regional Council Competition
(November 22, 2013)

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Presents Progress Update to Strategic Implementation Assessment Team

The Strategic Implementation Assessment Team (SIAT), including Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales; Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox; Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito; President and CEO of the Environmental Facilities Corp. Matthew J. Driscoll; Commissioner and President of the Civil Service Commission Jerry Boone; Chair of the Tourism Advisory Council Cristyne Nicholas; and President and CEO of the New York Power Authority Gil Quinones today continued visits to see first-hand the progress of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) in the Southern Tier. This visit continues the SIAT team's review of the all ten Councils' strategic economic development plans, progress reports and job-creating projects.

The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC) today provided a formal presentation to the State Implementation Assessment Team – outlining its progress, achievements, and endorsed priority projects for the third round of the Regional Council competition at Corning Incorporated’s World Headquarters. The Council's progress report and full list of endorsed priority projects for 2013 can be found at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/themes/nyopenrc/rc-files/southerntier/ST-2013-pr.pdf.

“The success of more than fourteen hundred projects across the State clearly demonstrates that the Governor’s Regional Council initiative is working and delivering on its intentions,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council allows those who know this region best to weigh in on what matters most locally and support projects that have a real impact and spur the economy.”

“Today we were able to show the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team the progress we have made over the last two years on the projects and initiatives that are leading to new jobs and transformational change in our region,” said STREDC Co-chairs Harvey Stenger, President, Binghamton University and Tom Tranter, President & CEO, Corning Enterprises. “Last year we were named one of the best plans in the state and as a result we have received over $140 million to support more than 115 projects across the region’s eight counties. There is economic growth happening in our region because of the investments we have guided and collaborative efforts of the Council. Looking forward, we are confident that the Round III projects in the pipeline will create thousands of new jobs, spur more development and continue growing our economy.”

The State team toured and heard presentations on the following STREDC project sites:

Corning Museum of Glass International Motorcoach Entrance
A Round III priority project endorsed by the Council, this project involves construction of an international motorcoach entrance, as part of the 100,000 square foot expansion of the Corning Museum of Glass. CMoG is a world-class tourism destination in NYS, with annual visitations of more than 400,000. Over 40% of visitors arrive by motorcoach with a majority being international visitors. International visitations are expected to increase by 14% in 2016.

Southern Tier Regional Incubator Strategy
The Southern Tier is taking a regional approach to the Innovation Hot Spot program by implementing a Regional Incubator Plan. The Council’s objective is to implement rapid product development in quickly growing markets through organized and intensely driven university-industry partnerships. This will result in increased commercialization, strengthening existing businesses, increasing new business success rates, and encouraging students educated in the region to remain and join startups.

The Regional Incubator Plan was adopted by the REDC in August 2013. It is a consortium comprised of Binghamton University, Cornell University, Corning Incorporated, the Ceramics Corridor Innovation Center (affiliated with Alfred University). In addition, the Regional Incubator will involve Alfred University’s School of Ceramics in the Western NY Region and Cornell’s Geneva Experimental and Testing Station in the Finger Lakes Region.

This consortium is applying for both designation as the Southern Tier’s Innovation Hot Spot, as well as for incubator funding under CFA Round III.

The INN at Corning
A Round III priority project, this project involves demolition of the existing Days Inn hotel and adjacent bakery building, and construction of a new 5-story, 125-room upscale hotel affiliated with an upper-tier national franchise. The project will redevelop and transform downtown Corning's riverfront and support growth of the Corning Museum of Glass.

Corning Incorporated’s Sullivan Park Research Campus
Sullivan Park is Corning’s research campus located in the Town of Erwin, approximately 6 miles west of the corporation’s world headquarters in downtown Corning, NY. Sullivan Park provides a centralized and collaborative R&D environment that provides for vibrant innovation. Research and development has been the hallmark of Corning’s success for more than 160 years – an achievement that only five U.S. companies can claim. Corning spends about 9% of sales income on research and development. That figure represents approximately $736 million.

Examples of Corning’s history of research breakthroughs:

  • Invented the glass envelope to commercialize Thomas Edison’s electric light bulb;
  • Created cathode ray tubes that enabled the growth of television (first relationship with Samsung);
  • Newest relationship with Samsung – Corning will supply liquid crystal display glass to Samsung for the next 10 years. The deal with Samsung will increase Corning’s annual sales by about $2 billion; and
  • Today’s game-changer – ultra-bendable fiber – Willow Glass.

In the first two rounds of the Regional Council initiative, the Southern Tier was awarded $140,592,606 in state support for 119 projects across the region. Of those projects, more than 96 percent are now underway as a result of funding they have been awarded.

Once completed, the projects awarded funding in the Southern Tier Region through the 2011 and 2012 CFA process will provide a significant boost to the local economy and result in the creation of more than 2,800 jobs and the retention of over 2,500 jobs. The CFA awards will leverage more than $440 million in public and private sector investment.

Based upon published guidelines (available in the 2013 Guidebook), SIAT will review and assess each region’s progress as it relates to their accomplishments in the following categories:

  • Keep the project pipeline flowing;
  • Select “Innovation Hot Spots” to facilitate tech transfer;
  • Develop an Opportunity Agenda to revitalize distressed communities and address barriers to entry into the workforce for people living in areas of concentrated poverty;
  • Assure the workforce is being trained for today and tomorrow;
  • Engage local government officials in reshaping the regional business climate;
  • Create interregional collaborations around shared resources and opportunities;
  • Advance regional Cleaner, Greener Communities sustainability plans; and
  • Measure performance.

The Regional Council competition awards will be made based on the progress the Councils have made in implementing their strategies and the evolution of their strategic plans.

On September 24, 2013, each Council submitted to the State its two-year progress report, which provides detail on the Council’s achievements in implementing its five year strategic plan. The STREDC report included a description of its Opportunity Agenda, its regional approach to the Innovation Hot Spot program by implementing a Regional Incubator Plan, and continuing to support key projects through its Community Revitalization, Rural Initiative and Shovel Ready Fund programs, which all play an important role in the economic and social aspects of Southern Tier communities. It also included a list of the 21 priority projects endorsed for Round III of the capital funds competition.

Statewide, the first two rounds of the Regional Council initiative included $1.5 billion in investments to support more than 1,400 economic and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans that are creating or helping retain an estimated 75,000 jobs. To continue building on the success of rounds one and two, up to $760 million in state resources are available in 2013. Funding for the third round includes $220 million ($150 million in capital and $70 million in tax credits) to implement regional strategic plans and continue to advance priority job-creating projects, and up to $540 million from state agency programs through the CFA to support regionally-significant economic development projects.

This year, all ten regions will compete against each other. The competition places emphasis on Regional Council performance and action to implement strategies.

Five regions will be identified as the “Top Performer” and will receive up to $25 million each. The remaining regions will compete for the balance of $25 million. Each region will also be eligible for up to $10 million in Excelsior Tax Credits.

Regions designated as a “top performer” will be required to demonstrate the following:

  • Continued Implementation of their individual Strategic Plans;
  • Performance in encouraging economic growth through job creation and investment; and
  • Identification of transformative projects that encourage collaboration (e.g., leveraging computing assets to establish research partnerships, utilizing equipment and co-locations to assist manufacturers, and developing shared space for food processing).

Governor Cuomo established the Regional Councils and Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) to fundamentally change New York’s operating model for economic development and job creation. The Regional Councils have transformed the way the State invests in economic development, shifting from a top-down approach to a community-based, performance-driven model which empowers individual regions to develop, invest in, and advance regional solutions and job-creating projects to spur economic growth.

To learn more about each Regional Council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

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