in an effort to redesign the relationship between the state government and businesses to stimulate regional economic development and create jobs statewide.
The goal was to align state resources and policies, eliminate unnecessary barriers to growth and prosperity, and streamline the delivery of government services and programs to help Regional Councils across New York carry out their plans for development. Regional councils throughout the state were established and invited to create proposals to compete for state funding.
At that time, Clarkson President Tony Collins was tapped by Gov. Cuomo to co-chair (with Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce) the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC), to coordinate the economic development of seven Northern New York counties.
In November, the NCREDC released a strategic plan, which provided a long-term roadmap to attract private investment, promote and facilitate connectivity between communities, and create a climate that will allow entrepreneurs to flourish.
In December, Governor Cuomo announced that $785 million in state funding had been awarded through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
Of that, the NCREDC received $103.2 million in support for 70 projects across the region. It was the second highest award announced for a regional council. The NCREDC also received the Best Plan Award.
Among the funded projects are transportation improvements, housing construction and energy production. An essential element of the plan was an emphasis on building and broadening the North Country’s relationship with Canada, which is vital for building jobs.
“Clarkson is committed to partnering with New York state to ensure the economic vitality of our region,” said President Tony Collins. “We are one of the largest employers in the North Country; technology developed in our labs continues to be commercialized through start-up businesses thanks to our Shipley Center for Innovation. We help regional entrepreneurs achieve success through our Reh Center for Entrepreneurship, which also provides learning opportunities for our students. Perhaps most importantly, one out of seven Clarkson students is a resident of the seven North Country counties.”
The Regional Economic Development Council awards were announced on December 8 in Albany. (l-r) Lt. Governor Robert Duffy, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, CNBC Maria Bartiromo, Governor Andrew Cuomo, President Tony Collins, North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas, Senator Patty Ritchie, Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, Assemblywoman Addie Russell, Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, Senator Joseph Griffo and Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush.