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North Country, Mohawk Valley REDCs win funding in challenge competition

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

Date:

ALBANY, N.Y. — The North Country, Mohawk Valley, and Long Island regions are the winners of the state’s $30 million Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Challenge Competition.

The REDCs in those regions won $10 million in project awards to “implement bold proposals to address the housing crisis and bolster workforce development efforts,” the office of Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Thursday.

Retaining transitioning soldiers and their spouses at Fort Drum is part of the plan by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) to address the region’s anticipated workforce gap over the next 10 years. The state awarded the North Country REDC $10 million in the REDC Challenge Competition. The REDCs serving the Mohawk Valley and Long Island were also awarded $10 million in the competition. (Photo credit: U.S. Army website)

“New York’s REDC Challenge Competition is just one of the ways that our state is empowering local leaders to transform their communities and unlock their economic potential,” Hochul said in the news release. “This year’s winners crafted proposals to create housing, grow our workforce, and strengthen the talent pipeline, and thanks to state investment, REDCs in Long Island, the Mohawk Valley, and the North Country will get the resources they need to put those plans into action.”

As part of the REDC round eight initiative, each of New York’s 10 REDCs identified “strategies and actionable approaches” to address one of seven challenges faced across the state: workforce, housing, population and talent retention, blight, tourism, equity, and sustainability and clean energy.

 

Plan details

The North Country REDC’s plan seeks to capitalize on Fort Drum, New York’s largest single-site employer. Through an initiative called Next Move NY, the North Country REDC aims to fill the region’s anticipated workforce gap over the next 10 years by retaining transitioning soldiers and their spouses, Hochul’s office said.

In its plan, the Mohawk Valley REDC wants to meet the region’s “growing demand” for tourism, agribusiness, and STEM-intensive industries, while “prioritizing its efforts to eliminate barriers to employment,” Hochul’s office said. STEM is short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The council identified 12 projects to scale successful programs across the region, including established programs like the Institute for Rural Vitality’s Micro-Credentialing program; Mohawk Valley Community College’s Fast Track program; and the Hillside Work Scholarship Connection.

The Mohawk Valley REDC’s proposal also includes several projects with an ability to “engage students at a younger age and open doors to an increasingly diverse” working-age population, as well as projects tailored to eliminating employment barriers for persons with disabilities, per Hochul’s office.

 

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