U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wants to put some 800,000 New Yorkers back to work.
During a conference call Tuesday, Gillibrand, a Democrat, unveiled her agenda for fostering entrepreneurship across the state. Her plan aims to create more small businesses, spark growth in high-tech industries, and create what she called "good-paying jobs."
Gillibrand says her plan also strengthens business incubators and establishes tax-free savings accounts for up-start entrepreneurs.
The junior senator from New York says the state needs greater investments in science parks, like those located in the Albany region. Those parks, she says, end up attracting high-tech developers.
Gillibrand says her number one priority is job growth, although she concedes that government itself doesn't create jobs.
"Businesses do," she said. "But the lack of early capital from the poor economy holds us back."
According to Gillibrand, small businesses are responsible for nearly half of all private sector jobs. Some 70 percent of all new jobs added to the economy over the last 10 years came through small businesses, she adds.
Her five-point plan for invigorating New York's job market calls for greater support of business incubators; tax-free savings to fund new small businesses; tax credits for investments in small businesses; expanding and building new science parks; and growing regional economies to attract new businesses.
Gillibrand notes that although the economy is slowly recovering, the job market is not. About 800,000 New Yorkers are still out of work, including 25,000 North Country residents.
The unemployment rate in northern New York, which is currently 10.8 percent, is higher than any other region in the state.