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Regional Economic Development Council finalizes progress report

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CANTON - The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) today held a public meeting at SUNY Canton to review and finalize its progress report, which includes an update of its strategic plan implementation strategies and a list of its priority projects for 2014-2015, ahead of the Aug. 15 submission deadline.

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council gathered public input on its strategic plan and priority projects over the last several months through its numerous public forums and CFA training sessions held across the region. The Council will post its progress report and priority project list on its website at www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com after submitting it to the State on Friday, August 15.

“As a Council, we continue to listen to our residents and encourage input of their solutions to meet the vision to lead the economic renaissance of New York State’s small cities and rural communities. The North Country has taken full advantage of the opportunity Governor Cuomo created to prioritize initiatives that make sense for our region. Through public-private investment, we are elevating global recognition of the north country as one of the special places on the planet to visit, live, work and study,” said Anthony Collins, president of Clarkson University and council co-chair.

“The Governor’s regional economic development process has been a remarkable success for the North Country. On August 15th, we look forward to submitting another annual report which will again show strong progress on all of our projects and strategies. And while our Canadian connection has always been a large part of our story, we’re very pleased that international business has been highlighted by the Governor this year as part of his Global NY initiative. Each year, the economic development teamwork across the North Country becomes stronger and stronger, thanks to this process, and it’s the entire team that has put us in position for another very positive report,” said Garry Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and council co-chair.

The progress report will include several components: an overview of the Council’s strategies and priorities for the north country, including new initiatives such as Global NY, the Veterans initiative, and the Opportunity Agenda; progress on past priority projects, actions and other state programs such as the Innovations Hot Spots program; an update on public engagement and performance measures; an implementation agenda for the remainder of 2014 and 2015; and a list of priority projects for 2014 with an overview of job creation and investment figures.

The progress report will be used to evaluate the region as part of Governor Cuomo’s Regional Council competition in 2014, which includes the availability of $750 million in State resources to support the economic development priorities of all 10 regions and spur job creation across the state, including $220 million in competitive funds from Empire State Development.

In addition, in response to the U.S. Army’s Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA) for Army 2020 Force Structure realignment released in late June, the NCREDC, at its meeting, reviewed the socio-economic impact of Fort Drum in Jefferson County and across the region, and reaffirmed in a resolution its support for the installation. The resolution asked for no further personnel reductions at the base and reiterated the significant infrastructure investments that have been made by New York state to ensure integration with Fort Drum’s needs for housing, education, healthcare facilities and transportation needs.

The NCREDC, which is composed of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, is one of 10 regional councils across New York state that serve as a single point of contact for economic activity in the various regions. The NCREDC was named a “Top Performer” in 2013 and 2012, in addition to its Strategic Plan being named a “Best Plan Awardee” in December 2011. There are 222 projects across the region that have been awarded a total of $274.7 million in state support through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process in the statewide competition.

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