Following up on his promise to turn his attention to the state's stagnant economy, Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the first of ten regional economic councils that he said would help drive local economic development and improve the state's business climate.
"For too long, Albany has imposed one-size-fits-all economic development plans across the state, ignoring the unique assets and challenges of each region," Cuomo said in a statement. "Today, we are taking a new approach."
The first council was announced this morning in Western New York, where Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy joined business, civic, academic and government officials.
"With the Regional Councils, we will empower individual areas like Western New York to chart their own course for job creation and growth and we will send a clear message that New York is open for business," Cuomo's statement said.
The announcement was followed by similar ones from the Finger Lakes and Central New York regions. The councils are meant to serve as liaisons between regional interests and the state government, bringing a "community-based approach that emphasizes regions' unique assets, harnesses local expertise, and empowers each region to set plans and priorities."
Lieutenant Governor Duffy will chair each of the council's, assisted by two regional co-chairs. The governor is expected to announce the remaining regions, listed below and in map form, and their regional co-chairs soon.
- Capital Region (Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington)
- Central New York (Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego)
- Finger Lakes (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates)
- Long Island (Nassau, Suffolk)
- Mid-Hudson (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester)
- Mohawk Valley (Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie)
- New York City (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond)
- North Country (Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence,)
- Southern Tier (Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins)
- Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara)