In April 2015 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI)—a transformative economic-development opportunity unlike any New York has seen. We were challenged to develop a transformational economic development strategy driven by data and shaped by the community. We were asked to provide a blueprint for job growth backed by private sector investment. With this plan, the Capital Region, has answered that call—and we have gone beyond. Here we present more than a funding application—it’s an investment proposal. This proposal makes the case for how an investment in the Capital Region will yield the best possible return in terms of economic growth, more and better jobs, improved equity and opportunity, and enhanced quality of life.
This is a decisive moment for the Finger Lakes region and its urban core, Rochester.The region is at a crossroads between realizing its full potential and losing its hardfought progress.The Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) will be pivotal for the Finger Lakes region to capitalize on its strengths and overcome barriers to growth.
The URI plan adopted by the MHREDC addresses three very focused initiatives that we felt had the greatest opportunity to transform the regional economy. It builds on the momentum established by past Council investment, and further refines the Region’s economic development strategy into a three-pronged approach that will transform the way our Region Lives, Works, and Plays. The three initiatives complement the Region’s geographic, demographic, and economic diversity. They will harness private sector investment for community reinvestment, create jobs, and workforce development opportunities for hard to place workers, all while leveraging existing State programs.
Funding through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) provides the opportunity to create a regional framework that will instill the type of synergy needed to realize economic results far greater than the “individual sum of the parts,” and fulfill the overarching objectives envisioned when the regional economic development councils were created. With the advent of the URI competition, stakeholders throughout the Mohawk Valley decided to take the next bold step in building regional cooperation and important regional connections paramount for long-term, broad-based economic success.
More than any other region of New York outside of New York City, the North Country has long welcomed the world and engaged internationally in ways that are seldom expected of a largely rural area. The men and women of Fort Drum who are defending freedom around the world are a prime example. In the process, we have come to understand that we have a special place in the world, and that understanding informs all facets of our thinking as we consider the future. We do, indeed, welcome the world, and we embrace our role within it as players rather than as bystanders, proactively shaping and being shaped by global activity and commerce.
The Southern Tier is ready to be a hotbed of vigorous business growth and development and a destination for the next generation of the nation’s best and brightest talent. We are prepared to work hard during the next five years to execute our Upstate Revitalization Initiative Plan, which is strategic, realistic and designed to produce measurable results. Nearly 1,000 people across the region participated in developing our plan, and we will stand together to transform the Southern Tier and bring about an advanced economy of the future.