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Guest Column: State Sen. Tom O'Mara
"Open for Business"
ALBANY, Oct. 3 -- ”New York can rise again,” was the theme of former President Bill Clinton’s keynote address to kick off last week’s “NY Open for Business” economic summit at the state capital. The former president’s words, ranging from inspirational to informative, sounded the right note at a time when New York State endeavors to rebuild, reenergize and regain economic strongholds in the global economy.
In short, the economic summit left many of us who attended and participated in last week’s conference eager to get out of our seats, up on our feet and right to work turning words into realities. So for those of you who may not have seen the coverage of last week’s conference, I think it’s worthwhile to review some of what took place there, put it into the larger context of what it signals for the year ahead in New York government and, finally, share a few of my own impressions as a conference participant.
The September 27th conference was convened by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who from the very first day of his administration has stressed the goal of “jobs, jobs, jobs.” It marked the first time the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils met together to explore local solutions and share new ideas on private-sector economic growth and job creation. These councils were established as part of the 2011-2012 state budget and are currently at work in regions across the state, including the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, developing local economic strategies that will compete for state economic development aid.
While the Clinton keynote address spun off on the lofty idea of New York rising again, he also applauded and encouraged the work of the regional councils and even singled out Corning Inc. for its manufacturing commitment and innovation, recounting in some detail the history and modern-day success of Corning’s “Gorilla Glass.” He went on to highlight a series of assets and strengths that he felt were particularly important to New York and that each regional council would do well to focus on: manufacturing exports, the overriding importance of public-private partnerships, innovations and advancements in the energy-related economy, and the promise of higher education. This speaks directly to our region, which can draw on a wealth of these assets, and I considered it a source of renewed hope and renewed energy for the work ahead of us locally.
The conference also featured an early morning announcement by Governor Cuomo of a $4.4-billion public-private computer chip research and development initiative that’s estimated to create and retain upwards of 7,000 jobs across the upstate region and signal New York as a leader in this exciting high-tech field.
In the afternoon, the conference agenda got down to the nut-and-bolts
of local economic development through a series of individual panels convened
to examine key sectors of the state’s economy in detail, from agribusiness
development to venture capital, and from higher education
Those of us who have spent a lifetime living and working in upstate
New York know all too well about manufacturing’s decline. But we
also shouldn’t forget that a strong manufacturing sector remains
productive, successful and hard at work here. We must stay focused on
ways to build on
Anyone interested can find more information on the “Open for Business” initiative and the work of the Regional Economic Development Councils at the following website: http://nyworks.ny.gov/.
As far as the bigger picture goes, the recent “Open for Business”
conference served as an important agenda setter for a 2012 legislative
session that many of us hope will be focused like never before on building
a stronger state economy and a better business climate. It was an
It’s reassuring to recognize that the economic development professionals,
chambers of commerce leaders, and community advocates who have been hard
at this work for many years across our region -- and whose efforts have
helped us at least hold our own through a whole lot of
Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara
Schuyler County Officials
Top row (from left): Dennis Fagan, Thomas Gifford, Doris Karius, Glenn Larison
Bottom row: Michael A. Yuhasz, Barbara Halpin, Phil Barnes, Stewart Field
Dennis Fagan, Tyrone 607-292-3687
Michael A. Yuhasz, 535-4967
Doris L. Karius, 546-5544
Barbara Halpin, 594-3683
Glenn R. Larison, 594-3385
Thomas M. Gifford, 535-9517
Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen 481-0482
Stewart Field, Watkins Glen 535-2335
County Clerk: Linda Compton, 535-8133
Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222
Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222
County Treasurer: Margaret Starbuck, 535-8181
District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383
State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County
Sen. Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate
Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senate
State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)
Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Assemblyman Christopher Friend --
Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869