It was an exciting week in our community, as we collectively celebrated the groundbreaking of what will be a transformative and historic endeavor. On Thursday, Oct. 24, I joined Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) President Barbara Risser, Senator Mike Nozzolio, and other community leaders to launch the construction of the Finger Lakes Viticulture Center in Geneva.
Once completed, the Viticulture Center will bolster FLCC’s world-class Viticulture and Wine Technology Program, enhancing the school’s educational offerings, generating new jobs, and allowing our region to achieve greater innovations in agricultural research and development. To learn more about FLCC’s world-class program, please visit the school’s website at http://flcc.edu/academics/viticulture/.
As your assemblyman, I am extremely proud of my work and collaboration with Senator Nozzolio to secure a $3.2 million investment from the state for the new center. As an FLCC graduate, I’m proud of the expansion the school continues to make. And as a resident of the Finger Lakes region, I’m proud that we serve as an example to the rest of New York on how to create jobs, foster business opportunities, and commit to emerging industries.
Serving as an Example for the Rest of New York
The Finger Lakes region is already home to a number of farms and wineries with a proud tradition of producing quality products. With this week’s groundbreaking, we are continuing to cultivate a growing industry and committing to progress. We are not going to rest on past accomplishments, but instead will seize this opportunity to improve the already world-class viticulture sector in New York. A thriving viticulture industry brings jobs, prosperity, and products of which we can be proud.
The new Viticulture Center perfectly represents the direction New York needs to be going and employs the basic principles necessary to get our economy turned around.
§ A continued focus and investment into emerging industries — like our wineries and agriculture — broadens the opportunities for real job growth and gives industry necessary resources and support to achieve long-term success.
§ Providing educational tools and training enables a new generation of workers to develop skill sets that align with industries that need highly trained workers. Just as the Viticulture Center will lead to new innovation and learning, industries like biotechnology and advanced manufacturing will only succeed here if New York has a skilled workforce that is equipped to meet the demand.
§ Developing public-private partnerships, like the collaborative approach used to make the new center a reality, facilitates the sharing of ideas and taps into the expertise of a number of professionals. Government can do its part — but New York State’s businesses succeed when Albany gets out of the way, and local innovators and entrepreneurs have the freedom to achieve their goals.
As we saw this week in Geneva, this recipe for success has become a reality for our region. The continued progress and focus on our local industry will lead to a brighter future for all New York. Breaking ground on the Finger Lakes Viticulture Center is cause for celebration — for the hard work, for the collaboration and because we are putting ourselves on a path toward a sustainable economy.
Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C–Canandaigua) is the New York Assembly Minority Leader and represents the 131st Assembly District, which encompasses all of Ontario County and parts of Seneca County. Contact him at email@example.com