Colleges as Economic Drivers Discussed

Sep 30, 2013

Left to right: Jason E. Lane, Deputy Director for Research, Rockefeller Institute of Government; Lee Ann Pray, Director of Human Resources, Swarovski Lighting; John Ettling, President, SUNY Plattsburgh; John Jablonski, President, Clinton Community College; Garry Douglas, President/CEO, Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair North Country Regional Economic Development Council; Paul Grasso, President/CEO, The Development Corporation
Credit WAMC/Pat Bradley

The first of four forums discussing how colleges and universities are a key component of economic development in New York State was held in Plattsburgh recently.

Business, industry and entrepreneurs are calling increasingly on the education system to provide the knowledge foundation for a trained workforce.  The forum in Plattsburgh focused on how the two colleges in the community have helped Plattsburgh become Montreal’s U.S. suburb, which Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Garry Douglas says is the region’s economic base.

Higher education policy is a core area of focus of the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany. Deputy Director Bob Bullock says this is the first of a four city series of forums on how universities, colleges and community colleges can become chief motivators of economic prosperity in their regions.

Rockefeller Institute of Government Deputy Director for Research Jason Lane is co-editor of “Universities and Colleges as Economic Drivers: Measuring Higher Education’s Role in Economic Development” which motivated the series of forums.  Lane is trying to raise awareness about the role higher education plays in fostering economic vitality and quality of life in local communities.

Empire State Development President and CEO and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development Ken Adams says the state increasingly competes based on the quality of its workforce and collaborations between industry and higher education are vital.

Forums are scheduled in Potsdam on October 7th and in Buffalo on October 25th. A community discussion was held in Albany on Friday September 27th