Capital Region Economic Development Council
Locally collaborative. Globally competitive. Economically vibrant.
In the heartland of the Empire State, an area blessed by environmental beauty, cultural richness, and a tradition of extraordinary human endeavor, our vision is to foster an ecosystem in which the private sector, academia, and government work in harmony to stimulate economic growth.
To this end, we will:
•Lower the costs of doing business, facilitate multi-sector partnerships, and strengthen the supportive infrastructure, to make the Capital Region a destination of choice for new and existing business enterprises, foreign investment, and world class talent;
•Drive leading edge research and invention in biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology and web science, advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, and all forms of green-tech in our world class universities, in collaboration with commercial enterprises;
•Provide the enabling vehicles for entrepreneurship and business incubation that translate these research results into innovative startup businesses, the enhancement of existing enterprises, and high- tech, high-income job opportunities;
•Create a 21st century workforce, matching the creation of new jobs, across sectors and at all levels, to the development of a talent pool in our educational institutions; and
This balanced and self-sustaining ecosystem will create a mutually supportive sense of community, in which economic growth reaches all economic sectors — from agribusiness to manufacturing to service to entertainment — revitalizing our downtown streetscapes and rural communities while preserving the beauty and sustainability of our natural landscapes.
The recently established Capital Region Economic Development Council hosted a meeting at the Glens Falls Civic Center Sept. 30 and another Oct. 3 in Saratoga Springs to invite public comment.
Lake George’s Frank McCoy said he planned to attend but fell ill. Coughing into the phone, he said the council provides a place to exchange ideas.
Bolton Landing Supervisor Ron Conover said that he’s received a lot of communication from the council inviting him to attend meetings, but this one came in the middle of budget season.
Warrensburg Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty said that besides working on the budget, it was garage sale weekend. He thought it would be best to stay home and promote the town.
He said he relies on Queensbury Supervisor and Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Stec’s position on the council to keep him informed of going-ons there.
Stec keeps the other local supervisors up-to-date on an informal basis when he sees them in county buildings and provides an overview when the board of supervisors meets.
So far, there’s little concrete to report, he said.
The discussion right now focuses on high-level subjects like infrastructure and education. They aren’t mulling over town- or organization-specific projects.
“The council hasn’t got to that level of detail yet,” said Stec.
That doesn’t mean that public input’s not important, he said.
It’s important to participate right now as the council is forming its strategic plan for the region. They’re gathering information on strengths, weaknesses and priorities for business and government in the council region.
Eventually, projects will be funneled through the 10 state economic development councils to compete for funding. The councils will be competing among one another for funding as well.
The council has subgroups focusing on public outreach or building measurements for success. Stec's on the subcommittee working on how to judge how much the council’s accomplished.
“At the end of the day, the most important measurement will be what we’ve done for jobs,” he said.
The plan is due in November, and the councils were formed in July. Getting the region’s plan together has been hectic, said Stec.
“It’s fast and furious. It’s like drinking water from a fire hose,” he said.
It’s been a real learning experience for him so far, said Stec. He’s met businesspeople face-to-face that he’s only talked to on the phone, and has learned a lot about their ideas, experience and frustrations.
Everybody is looking at this from a team perspective, on a regional basis. The counties covered by the council have diverse economies.
Warren County’s strength is tourism, Washington County's is agriculture and in the Albany area, the technology sector is big. Council members cooperate in creating an economic plan that accommodates all these diverse interests, said Stec.
People can find out more about the council, including a survey and contact information, at CapitalRegionOpenForBusiness.com.
The council covers eight counties, so it might be awhile before they host another meeting locally, Stec said. The Capital Region is defined as Albany, Columbia, Greene, Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Warren, and Washington counties.
CAPTIAL REGION CO-CHAIRS
Michael J. Castellana
President and CEO, SEFCU
Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson
President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute