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CNY Regional Economic Development Council updates community on strategic plan

DATE: 10-07-2011

New York State Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy urged members of the CNY Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) to focus on the region's five-year strategic plan in putting together a proposal for $40 million in possible state funding due next month.

"Stay on the path of your plan," Duffy said during the meeting October 7 at Cayuga Community College. "That's your priority...What's important is that the decisions about your economic development not be made on the second or third floor in Albany. They happen right here."

The Central New York Regional Council is one of 10 councils formulated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support economic development. The CNY region is made up of Madison, Cayuga, Cortland, and Oswego counties.

Cayuga Community College President Daniel P. Larson welcomed the council to the College and voiced support for the important work that the group is tasked with completing. Carla DeShaw, the dean of Community Education and Workforce Development at Cayuga, facilitated the public discussion portion of the meeting, gathering the feedback and insights about the draft Executive Summary of the CNY Regional Plan from the 50 or so community members in attendance.

To date, the council has identified six industry clusters at the heart of its economic strategy. They are:

  • Clean energy and environmental systems
  • Health and biomedical sciences
  • Financial services
  • Agri-business and food processing
  • Advanced manufacturingTourism

The council's plan also seeks to improve "competitiveness in, and connections to, the regional, national, and global economics" and to revitalize the region's "urban cores, main streets, and neighborhoods."

Another theme that emerged from discussions focused on aligning educational and workforce development programs with industry needs. In keeping with this theme, Cayuga Community College recently formed a Program Development Committee that includes faculty members, administrators, and representatives of the business communities in Cayuga and Oswego counties. The committee will try to incorporate the feedback and ideas of industry partners in the creation of new credit and non-credit programs at the College.

The council also announced a new campaign to receive feedback from citizens throughout the five-county CNY region.

The "Be Heard" survey provides an opportunity for people who cannot make the council's meetings to share their ideas about economic growth in the region. Through the "five questions in five minutes" survey, residents are asked such questions as how the region can experience job growth, how they would prioritize a list of regional goals, and how the government could help businesses succeed in the region.

The survey will be available online at and on Facebook, and paper versions will also be distributed in each of the five counties. Radio station, WSYR 106.9, will also host an on-air, call-in discussion for the public on October 19.

In November, each of the 10 regions will submit its economic development plan and vie for one of four, $40 million state grants. The remaining six regions will share $40 million in state funding to begin implementing their plans. The state expects to announce grant recipients by the end of the calendar year.

For more information, visit the CNY Regional Economic Development Council web site at