On September 25, 2015, the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) announced that its progress report was submitted to the State to meet the September 21 deadline. The progress report, which details the Council’s achievements in implementing its five year strategic plan, is entitled “Accelerate,” reflecting the North Country’s readiness to accelerate economic growth and transformation across the region.
The report outlines the region’s strong performance record in implementing its strategies and projects since the first round of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative in 2011. The first four rounds resulted in $338.1 million in State funding to support 291 projects that are completed or in progress and have committed to create or retain 4,931 jobs in the region. The Council’s plan supports this positive trend and will continue to build on the success of previous years, accelerating the North Country’s regional economy.
The progress report can be found on the North Country Regional Council’s website at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/north-country.
“This year’s Progress Report once again tells a strong story of how the North Country has come together behind economic development strategies that are working,” said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. “It tells of the ever stronger partnership that has developed across the seven counties, and the solid record of performance on all of our projects and aims. Best of all, it shows a region that is very much prepared for great advances over the next few years with the continued partnership of the state.”
“Our progress and success in the North Country can be wholly attributed to the diligence of so many people from our regional community who are coming together to build strong public-private partnerships,” said Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. “The North Country — more than any other region — has embraced Governor Cuomo’s transformative approach to economic development and is implementing a strategic plan that represents broad public participation among business, academia, local government and non-governmental organizations. We thank everyone for doing their part to make our region one of the special places on the planet to visit, live, work and study.”
There was strong public participation throughout Round V that proved extremely valuable as the NCREDC hosted more than 50 forums, summits and meetings, including two in Canada, to gather public input on its strategic plan and priority projects for this round. In addition, four ‘Big Ideas’ sessions took place, including one in New York City.
The Council also looked to the next phase of its work, and placed significant focus on the continued development of collaborations both in and out of the region, and successful implementation of its strategies and programs, including Innovation Hot Spot/Business Incubators, the Cleaner Greener Initiative, Veterans and Opportunity Agendas, NY Rising, SUNY 2020 and START-UP NY.
Strong performance and growth in the region’s key strategic sectors are a result of the Council’s dedication to transforming the region’s economy:
•A 43 percent increase in employment in the region’s Transportation Equipment cluster since 2010, now employing 1 in 17 workers across the region.
•Since 2010, acres of active farmland in the North Country has increased 6 percent; there has been a 26 percent increase in the value of the region’s agricultural output; and a 14 percent increase in employment in the region’s agricultural and forestry industries.
•A 13 percent increase in visitor spending, with visitor industry employment up 8 percent and tourism-generated taxes up 10 percent.
•A 100 percent increase of biomass energy production in the region since 2011, with 292 locations of on-site clean energy generation today, up 181 percent from 2010.