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Tue October 23, 2012
Capital Region Economic Development Council Bus Tour
The new "land of opportunity" is 21st Century New York - that's the message being conveyed by Governor Cuomo, who boarded a bus with other government officials today on "The Capital Region Economic Development Council Assessment Tour" from Troy to Albany - WAMC's Dave Lucas joined the tour and files this report
The event served to highligh the region's best and brightest advances - regional councils being the key component of the Governor's approach to sparking economic development throughout New York- RPI President Shirley Jackson serves as a Capital Region council co-chair.
The tour began at RPI's Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, kicked off by a presentation with Governor Cuomo later walking through a research lab. Then it was on to bio-based materials manufacturer Ecovative Design, which makes organic packing materials - the company recieved 250thousand dollars for the purchase of equipment to help meet customer demand - it has created 10 full time jobs and leveraged 2 million dollars in private investment.
Cuomo is visiting all 10 regional councils this fall, ahead of funding announcements for the second round of competition. He is satisfied with progress to date, explaining that New York State's economy is the aggregate of regional economies, and it is up to each individual region to craft its own unique plan.
The Governor said he would defer to the Capital Region’s economic development council on whether to continue state funding for a convention center in Albany:
Last week Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings said it was "unrealistic" to think the state would pony up $220-million dollars for the project, which seemingly has been left on the back-burner for now.
Cuomo added it would take "commitment and belief" in such a project to see it through to fruition.
Third stop on the tour: Kiernan Plaza, Albany's old Union Station where the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center project, an alliance of UAlbany's nano college, Clough Harbor and Associates and Trinity Alliance of The Capital region is expecting to generate about 150 executive and high tech jobs in downtown Albany.
The day concluded at Albany Medical Center, with an afternoon-long briefing and formal presentation to the commissioners of five state agencies selected to review the economic development council's request for funding this year.