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CNY Collects $62 Million in 6th Round of NYS Economic Development Awards

Gov. Cuomo's flickr page

Central New York walked away Thursday with just over $62 million  from the regional economic development awards, placing it midpack among regions across the state.  In all, the state awarded more than $700 million to 10 regions.  It’s the sixth year the state has used the formula in an effort to revitalize upstate’s economy.  The presentation was complete with a video highlighting each region’s emerging strengths. 

"Investment in the unmanned aircraft systems industry is becoming the backbone for the region's plan for growth. The commercial use of drones will change the way we shop, the way we grow food, and the way we see the world...thanks in part to the state's $30 million investment to develop a 50 mile traffic management system between Syracuse and Rome..."

CNY REDC  co-chair Rob Simpson says the region is in a good position to grow.

"You look at an industry like unmanned systems, which some experts now are saying could be a trillion dollar industry within the next decade, there's going to be major opportunity to support that, and a lot of new industry opportunity for Central New York," Simpson said.  "You think about the manufacturing sector that stands to benefit significantly, certainly wireless communications, cyber security."

Beyond drones, Simpson says they sent a long list of projects that could see success.

Credit Gov. Cuomo's flickr page
The audience fills "The Egg" in Albany.

"Small companies like Oneida Air Systems that are looking to grow and expand their footprint on the near west side,  a significant project in manufacturing space that we wanted to make sure that happened," Simpson said.  "Steri-Pharma a significant biotechnology company, also on the near west side, is undergoing a major expansion.  These are projects that are not only going to create new jobs, but they happen to be creating jobs in one of the most distresses census tracts in America.  

Simpson says it combines their goals of growing the economy and providing opportunities for residents.  while Central New York received a smaller award this year, it was a top performer last year, earning a five-year, $500 million Upstate Revitalization award.  Overall, the region has taken home more than $529 million for economic development since the competition began in 2011, the most of any area of the state.  

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at