By Senator Patty Ritchie
When the calendar page flips to a new year, our thoughts often turn to the goals we would like to accomplish in the coming twelve months.
What’s at the top of my list?
Helping to create more jobs in Central and Northern New York.
Jobs are the key to getting our state’s economy back on track. While we have begun to turn a corner, there’s still a lot more that can, and will, be done to keep New York moving forward.
Setting the Empire State on the track for success in 2013 is the $184 million in funding awarded to Central and Northern New York through Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council program, which I was happy to support.
In 2011, 10 Regional Economic Development Councils, made up of local experts and stakeholders with backgrounds in business, academia and local government and non-governmental organizations, were created to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions.
Last month, both Central and Northern New York were named “Top Performers,” taking home prizes of $93.8 million for 73 projects and $90.2 million for 82 projects respectively (to view a full list of projects, visit my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov).
In 2011, Central and Northern New York received more than $200 million in funding for presenting “best plans” for growth.
The funding awarded last month will help both regions continue a wide variety of projects that will create jobs and jump-start the economy, everything from the revitalization of Canton’s downtown and the expansion of available housing for the Fort Drum population to the development of the Central New York Raceway Park and the rehabilitation of the waterfront in the village of Phoenix.
The continued investment in these projects is proof that communities in Central and Northern New York are ready to grow.
We have a talented, motivated workforce, with fresh ideas, and now, the necessary capital to make those visions a reality.
I have been proud to work with Governor Cuomo on ideas and programs to grow our state’s economy. I’m looking forward to continuing this trend in 2013, in an effort to help create more, and better, jobs for the people in our region who are looking for work.
As your representative, I will continue to fight to reduce taxes, cut red tape and focus on innovation by capitalizing on our outstanding local colleges and their students who are waiting to contribute to our workforce.
As we kick off 2013, I want to remind you that my door is always open.
Should you have a concern, problem or suggestion, I encourage you to write to me at [email protected], or to call or stop into one of my three offices in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.
I am looking forward to continuing to serve you in 2013; thank you, once again for giving me that opportunity.