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Clarkson president hopes to go global with local business

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Clarkson president hopes to go global with local business
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A North Country leader will soon take his ideas to the national level. President Obama nominated Clarkson President Tony Collins to the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Advisory Board. Matt Jarchow shows one example of how Collins hopes the Seaway can help North Country products reach markets around the world.

MASSENA, N.Y. -- Curran Renewable Energy in Massena is looking to deliver its wood pellets to new markets. To do so, they only need to get their products right up the road. From there, the St. Lawrence Seaway will take it anywhere in the world.

"What we're trying to do is make sure we have an opportunity to not only sell domestically but to sell overseas," Curran Renewable Energy owner Patrick Curran said. "Without the seaway in our backyard it would not work."

Curran is just beginning to enter foreign markets, but Clarkson President Tony Collins sees them as just one example of North Country companies that can use the seaway to expand.

"Global New York makes all kinds of sense for our region," Collins said. "Here we are right next to an international border. We can trade with Canada and we can use the seaway as a route to export to the rest of the world."

With his nomination onto the Seaway Development Corporation Advisory Board, Collins can be a local voice for companies like Curran.

"He knows what we need here," Curran said. "He's quite aware that it's a depressed area up here, and if we can create any kind of employment using the seaway for export I think it's a great opportunity."

Collins hopes companies can start getting their products not just across the St. Lawrence Seaway to Canada but across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe as well.

"If we can sell our products outside of our region than that creates wealth into the region that we can reinvest and create jobs," Collins said.

"It's unlimited what could happen," Curran said. "Small factories producing this and that can be exported anywhere around the world provided it's going in a container."

So while companies like Curran may just be entering foreign markets, Collins hopes to soon have them going global.

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