PLATTSBURGH — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the North Country provides the perfect example of how the Regional Economic Development Council program should work.
“There is no New York state economy. It doesn’t exist,” Cuomo told a crowd at the West Side Ballroom Wednesday morning.
“There are regional economies that, as an aggregate, wind up being the state economy,”
The governor was here as part of his statewide tour of Regional Economic Development Council regions to check on progress from last year’s awards and to stump for this year’s program.
The program was put together to help stimulate the economies of various regions of the state by providing funds for lingering and new projects in hopes that they would create jobs.
Cuomo, during his 11-minute speech, said breaking up the state into different regions and having them compete for funding is the best way to help the state as a whole.
“We made it a competition because people like to win, and people don’t like to lose,” he said.
‘IT IS WORKING’
The North Country did well in the inaugural competition for funding from the program last year, as it received $103.2 million, the second highest amount in the state.
Among the projects impacted by the funding in Clinton County are the historic Strand Theater in downtown Plattsburgh and Bombardier Transportation.
Franklin County benefited from funding for Trudeau Institute and other projects; recipients in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis and Hamilton counties fall under the North Country umbrella as well.
Cuomo said the whole idea was to get counties, towns and villages with similar features to work together as a region, which didn’t always happen before.
“We are in our second year of this, and it is working,” he said.
“There is an energy in the North Country that is new and different ... you can feel it, and that energy, in and of itself, brings about a synergistic confidence.”