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CEO FOCUS: Partnerships, Strategic Vision Drive Investments to Region

By Robert M. Simpson


The week [of Dec. 13-17], several Significant investments in our Region were announced that hold tremendous opportunity to drive forward important projects, accelerate our progress, and give us reason for excitement and optimism as we approach the new year.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer [on Dec. 13] announced CenterState CEO and several regional partners will advance in the $100 million Build Back Better competition for federal economic-development funds. The Central New York and Mohawk Valley region is among just 60 applicants selected as finalists from more than 500 nationwide. CenterState CEO led a coalition of partners, including the CNY Regional Planning and Development Board and many others, on the collaborative application that focuses on positioning the region as a global tech hub by expanding its semiconductor manufacturing industry, growing existing UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) and quantum computing industries, and creating potential to attract more than 5,000 new jobs and the ability to train workers to enter in-demand fields.

On Dec. 14, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced additional Round XI Regional Economic Development Council awards, putting the total investment for the region so far this round at more than $21 million for nearly 60 projects. This comes just a few days after the state announced that the cities of Syracuse and Oneida are recipients of $10 million in funding each, as the Central New York region’s winners of this year’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative awards.

These investments highlight the strength of our regional collaborations and validate the data-driven strategies we’ve developed to alter the trajectory of our growth. They also position our region to attract additional investments and seize the opportunities we have before us.

I also want to recognize the vision and collaborative spirit of the many partners that contributed to these successes. Together, we are rewriting the narrative of this community and realizing the tremendous results we can drive by working toward shared goals.        

Robert M. Simpson is president and CEO of CenterState CEO, the primary economic-development organization for Central New York.