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Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy at the meeting
Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy at the meeting

Economic Development Council has first meeting

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Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy this morning led the inaugural meeting of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, at SUNY Potsdam. It wasn't open to the public...but Duffy has said future meetings will be.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the North Country Regional Council just last week. It's among ten created around the state.

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Cuomo says the councils represent a shift in the state's approach to job creation, from a top-down development model to a community-based approach.  He’s appointed council members in each region.  Now those councils will compete for a billion dollars in economic development money from the state.

North Country Chamber of Commerce president Garry Douglas is co-chair of the North Country council: 

So we have before us finally a governor who gets that economic  development in this state has to be region by region—and that’s hard to do. And that’s hard to do. It’s certainly simpler to just trot out and say we’re going to work on these three things, and we’re going to have these measures, and that’s the new program and tht’s it. And that doesn’t work—at least it doesn’t work at easily or as extensively as we need it to. This can work if we get it right, and that’s our challenge in the next three months.  

Douglas’ co-chair is Clarkson University President Tony Collins. Collins—a native of Australia—said things have gotten off to a good start:

This morning we met each other and confirmed what we know about the region, that the tremendous opportunity that exists in the region, and why we’re here. And that’s to create an economic future that will keep, attract and retain young talent. And if we can do that there’s a tremendous future for this region.

Council members are now tasked with identifying key regional issues and opportunities, coming up with regional economic vision, and ultimately putting together a plan—due to the state by November 14th.



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