The North Country is already leading the state in attracting and nurturing entrepreneurial pioneers to innovative clusters as supported in its regional plan. It was, therefore, more than coincidental when Gov. Cuomo introduced the Innovation Hot Spots program in Potsdam last month as part of his budget address.
The 2013-2014 budget launches 10 designated hot spots across the state to affiliate with higher education institutions to help incubate new high-tech innovation. Entrepreneurial leaders and young talent within and well beyond New York’s borders took notice and are eager to get started.
Job creation is important, and so is family quality of life. The people of the North Country recognize their role as stewards of the splendorous Adirondack Park and the pristine waters that sustain recreation and natural habitat from the Thousand Islands to Lake Champlain.
Important investments in the Environmental Protection Fund, Cleaner Greener Communities and emphasis on green jobs continue in this budget cycle and make New York a destination for eco-minded job seekers and visitors alike.
Finally, the agreement that has been reached in Albany represents a model for the rest of the nation to consider. Beyond our elected officials’ ability to find consensus among diverse viewpoints and to be on track to pass a budget on time for the third year in a row, the items they are funding demonstrate they are listening to the people who reside in the state.
In the last two years, I have had the distinct honor and pleasure to meet many New Yorkers in numerous public forums and review their thoughtful contributions to the issues that impede progress as well as advance new ideas.
This budget and the programs it supports reflect that we are being heard.
Anthony G. Collins is president of Clarkson University and co-chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council.