Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the recipients of Round Two of the Regional Economic Development initiative funding. The regional councils were established in 2011 to evaluate and redesign how the state approached economic development. The initiative enables community, business, and academic leaders in the development of strategic plans that specifically address their region’s unique strengths and resources in order create jobs and support economic growth.
Of the $738 million that was awarded to organizations statewide, SUNY campus initiatives received over $12,000,000 in funding. Some of the SUNY projects that were recognized included:
- $600,000 for Monroe Community College to purchase mobile training units for its program to upgrade skills of area residents. This Multiple Pathways to Middle Skills Jobs project will work in close coordination with a network of private, not-for-profit, and public sector organizations to provide hands-on training to K-12 students and displaced workers.
- $397,831 for the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry to create a biomass and biofuel processing facility on campus. The new Biomass Cooperative Innovation Center will offer students, researchers, and community members access to biomass processing and biofuel processing equipment and resources. The Center will produce wood pellets, biodiesel from waste oil, and potentially fish pellets produced from food waste.
- $500,000 for Central NY Biotechnology Accelerator and SUNY ESF to purchase lab equipment that will be available to potential biotech incubator tenants and university collaborators on a shared basis. The incubator space will be available for start-up companies, predominantly in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, and bioenergy fields.
- $7 million for the construction of the Southern Tier High Technology Incubator, a collaboration between Binghamton University and the regional economic development community, in downtown Binghamton.
- $2.1 million to support the Next Generation Energy Efficiency Technology, a collaboration with BAE Systems (BAE) and SUNY Binghamton to advance BAE’s hybrid-electric propulsion system product lines. BAE will invest $2.9 million and create 40 new jobs.
- $500,00 to support a 30,000 sq. ft. expansion of the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park on 38.5 acres at Farmingdale State College. The project will help meet a critical need for incubator space to accommodate spin-offs from Long Island research facilities and retain and create life sciences jobs in the region.
- $250,000 for the continuation of the EngINE initiative implemented in 2012 as a result of Round One funding to address the critical need for engineers on Long Island. The project undertaken by Farmingdale State College and NYIT will raise the engineering graduation rates at these institutions by 15%.
- $500,000 to assist with a partnership between Alfred University and SUNY Buffalo to create an Advanced Materials Manufacturing and Training Center that will substantially advance the speed with which new materials are brought to market.
During the awards ceremony, Governor Cuomo acknowledged Chancellor Zimpher in the audience. He also cited the work of Monroe Community College preparing students for employment in technical fields with job training. Cuomo said of the program
“BAE Systems, Monroe Community College – they’re examples of educational institutions that have really made the marriage with business and the training for jobs.”
“There’s an opportunity there, we need the skilled work force. And our education system has not, in my opinion, done what it needs to on an evolutionary basis to be providing those skills. And we have more to do there and we can do it.”
SUNY leaders have served a key role on all of the economic development councils. In July 2011, Chancellor Nancy Zimpher was named to the Chairman’s Committee, the governing body organized to facilitate cooperation among the ten Regional Councils and resolve issues that affect multiple regions. Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger, SUNY IT President Bjong Wolf Yeigh, and University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi were chosen as regional Co-Chairs for the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, and Western New York regions, respectively.
Additionally, many campus presidents and faculty members serve as regional representatives including:
- Dr. Anne M. Kress (President, Monroe Community College);
- Cornelius B. “Neil” Murphy, Jr. (President, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry);
- Dr. Cliff L. Wood (President, SUNY Rockland Community College);
- Dr. Kathryn Boor (Dean of College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Cornell University);
- Dr. Candace Vancko (President, SUNY Delhi);
- John Ettling, Ph.D (President, SUNY Plattsburgh);
- Dr. Calvin Butts (President, SUNY Old Westbury);
- Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. (President, Stony Brook University);
- Randall VanWagoner (President, Mohawk Valley Community College);
- Dr. Rosa Gonzalez (Owner/Assistant Professor & Chair, Emergency Management Program, R Gonzalez Consulting, Inc./Erie Community College); and
- George M. Philip (President, University at Albany)
The full announcement from the Governor’s Office is available here.
The full press release from Monroe Community College is available here.