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College hosts CNY Regional Economic Development Council funding application workshop

DATE: 07-10-2013

More than 50 people gathered at Cayuga Community College on July 10 to hear from state and regional officials on what they need to do to compete for their share of $760 million in state resources allocated to stimulate economic growth.

Matthew Driscoll, president and CEO of the Environmental Facilities Corporation who represented the Governor’s Office, opened the workshop with some background on the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) and the Consolidated Funding Application process. He also talked about two new initiatives this year. One intended for economically challenged areas is called the “Opportunity Agenda” and seeks to help individuals overcome barriers to enter the workforce. The other initiative asks each regional council to identify an “Innovation Hot Spot,” that connects higher education with private companies in a high-tech business incubator.

Andrew Fish, executive director of Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Central New York regional council, said that the CNY region i was awarded the most of any of the state’s 10 regions, over a $190 million to support about 150 projects across the region, during the first two rounds of funding. The CNY regional council hoped to do the same in the third round, he said.

Fish described the CNY region’s six strategic priorities for development. They are:

  • Clean Energy and Environmental Systems
  • Health, Biomedical Services, and Biosciences
  • Financial Services
  • Agribusiness and Food Processing
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Tourism

Fish spoke of the regional council’s commitment to revitalize the region’s urban cores, main streets, and neighborhoods and leverage its anchor institutions, such as Cayuga Community College.

“We’re in an anchor institution right now,” he told participants. “We need to include anchor institutions like higher education institutions and hospitals into partnerships to help renew our communities.”

During his welcome and introduction of Matt Driscoll, College President Daniel Larson mentioned a partnership between the College and local plastics companies that is leading to the development of a new plastics degree program. Cayuga is creating the only professional development and training program for the plastics industry in all of New York State that meets the National Alliance for Manufacturing standards. The College will work closely with the plastic industry to close skill gaps in the workforce, grow a labor pool of plastics professionals, and keep talent in the region, Larson said.

Following the opening session, the participants broke into four sessions, focusing on one of these topics: Business Assistance, Community Development, Energy and Environment, and Education and Workforce Development.

Any organizations or business interested in submitted an application for funding is encouraged to visit the web site: regionalcouncils.ny.gov. All applications must be submitted electronically through the regional councils' web site and are due by 4 p.m. Monday, August 12, 2013. Awards will be announced during a ceremony in December.

The next regional council meeting and discussion of the Consolidated Funding Application process will be held at 9:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday, July 24 at LeMoyne College in Syracuse. For more information, contact Empire State Regional Director James Fayle at jfayle@esd.ny.gov or 315-425-9110.