Economic development councils meet
New York is once again getting ready to award funding to regional economic development councils around the state to boost business and foster job creation. Tuesday, Governor Cuomo met with those councils to talk progress. Nick Reisman has the latest.
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NEW YORK STATE -- As the aftershocks of the economic recession continue, Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing various regions of the state to develop their own plans for job growth. It's a strategy he says is needed after a generation of stagnation, especially upstate.
“New York, we took it for granted and we also had an attitude that almost anything we did would have to be tolerated by businesses because they didn't have an option,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo held a meeting in Albany Tuesday of the regional economic development councils that represent various areas of the state. Cuomo has sought to be a cheerleader if nothing else, running wall to wall ads proclaiming New York is open for business. The economic ills came after the state just expected jobs to be available he says.
Cuomo said, “Part of it was the growth of the tax structure, part of it was the growth of regulations, part of it was the attitude and the culture. I talk about the New York arrogance, that we almost expect business had to be here.”
A report this month from the conservative Empire Center found Upstate New York is getting older, losing population following an erosion of its manufacturing base. Nowhere is this more evident than in Buffalo. And officials there say attracting young people is a main goal.
“We've lost about a third of our young people over the last few decades, people of child baring age. So continued population decline is baked into our demographic cake,” said Howard Zemsky, Buffalo-Niagara Partnership CEO.
Cuomo has played up different aspects of the state's economy, be it Greek yogurt in Johnstown, electric buses in the Bronx or beer in Utica. Left unsaid so far has been what he plans to on hydrofracking, a controversial natural gas drilling method that environmentalists oppose, but energy companies say will lead to jobs in the Southern Tier. Hydrofracking aside, the administration says a balance can be struck on job growth and the environment.
“He is very strong on the environment, he is very strong on business. In many ways in the past we found ourselves in gridlock, where one entity has opposed the other. What he has done is bring them to the table,” Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy said.