Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Finger Lakes council refines plan for economic contest

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 11:39 AM

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council now knows how it would spend a $500-million state award, if it wins.

Seven Upstate regions are competing for money through the state's Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Three regions will each get $500 million. 

The Finger Lakes council has spent the past few months preparing, and today, it approved the final wording of its application to the contest. The document is basically a narrative explaining how the region would use the money, and how the funding would lead to massive private investment. 

Under the proposal, the region would direct $250 million to specific industry areas. Of that funding, $50 million would be invested in the region's optics, photonics, and imaging cluster; $75 million would go toward the local agriculture and food processing industry; and $125 million would be directed to next-generation manufacturing and technology.

The other $250 million would support other key council objectives: $100 million would be invested in workforce development and Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative programs; $75 million would be put toward entrepreneurship and development initiatives; and $75 million would be used to support higher education and research.

The council has already identified some potential projects and initiatives in the above areas. 

The application will be submitted to the state and released publicly on October 5, said Vinnie Esposito, Finger Lakes regional director for Empire State Development. The state will announce the winners in December.

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