Press-Republican

Local News

July 20, 2013

'College towns' in the works

MALONE — If North Country Community College’s five-year plan continues to bear fruit, the next three years could see as many as 100 new jobs — with economic impact to the region of at least $11 million.

Components of the strategy are already in progress, partnering the NCCC with private investors and state agencies to create new jobs in Saranac Lake, Malone and Ticonderoga.

POTENTIAL INVESTORS

The idea is to create a college-town atmosphere in each community to integrate NCCC and its students.

Student housing, incubator businesses and more faculty to train workers for the new jobs are part of the plan college President Dr. Steve Tyrell outlined for Franklin County legislators this week.

He said potential investors have been “knocking on our doors,” including, for example, a foreign businessperson who learned about Saranac Lake’s existing bio-tech businesses and has one that could easily dovetail with them.

Tourism-related careers would also be explored in Saranac Lake, while agriculture, hydro-dam development and green technology would be highlighted and developed in Malone.

If funded, the projects would create six new curricula at NCCC to train generations of workers for the new jobs developed through the investment strategy.

TICONDEROGA

Private investment and a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture totaling $1.3 million is already working as a three-pronged student-housing project in Ticonderoga that created student housing over Libby's Bakery and Cafe downtown.

There is also a plan to seek $7.1 million funding through the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and the SUNY 2020 program to purchase the vacant Lowe’s building in Ti.

The School of Applied Technology, with spin-off incubator businesses and industry, would be created there, Tyrell said.

Both ventures are expected to generate $3.8 million in additional economic revenue in Essex County, he said.

SARANAC LAKE

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