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How Does Community Investment - by Companies or Government - Pay Dividends in Syracuse?

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Community investment in Syracuse from corporations and government can affect employment, civic life and engagement, the Arts, and the city's overall success, say honorees at the Downtown Committee's Progress Breakfast.

Investments in Syracuse and those who make them were celebrated by the Downtown Committee Tuesday. The latest progress breakfast honored those who are working for the city’s future in business, the arts, government, and other areas. Mower Advertising President Stephanie Crockett advises companies that the investments they make in a community go far beyond good will.

“From a recruitment and a retention perspective, it’s really important for a brand to express that commitment.  Even when you’re looking at things like stock valuation, your engagement in the community and what you’re doing from a corporate social-responsibility perspective has impact.”

One area of community investments is the Arts. NAC Entertainment President Albert Nocciolino runs Famous Artists, which brings Broadway and other touring shows to town. As the pandemic restrictions eased, he’s been able to stage shows, which he believes has a lasting impact.

“This is just the beginning.  They’ll be coming back year after year because they’ve enjoyed the assets we have with the Redhouse and the Oncenter and of course the Landmark.  When you make a commitment to the community, and you understand that you’re planning for the future, and then you see the results, that in itself should provide the incentive to continue doing what you’re doing.”

While he made the case for arts support, National Grid Community Management Vice President Melanie Littlejohn singled out workforce development as a favorite corporate investment.

“Watching young people grow and develop, seeing them either as employees or as professionals who’ve learned and gone on to do tremendous things, I think that’s what makes me most proud.”

She adds seeing young people’s growth in the area is good for company and community.

Littlejohn, Nocciolino and Mayor Ben Walsh were all featured at the Downtown Committee’s Progress Breakfast.