While the national economy slowly improves, the Central and Northern New York economy seems to be stuck in the mud. As Barry Wygel tells us, a group of experts sat down to come up with a master plan to set the region on a long-term path to success.
POTSDAM, N.Y. -- Long known for its languishing economy, the North Country is banding together with Central New York to embark on a new economic revitalization plan, one that could radically improve the local economy.
"Strong traded sectors drive economic growth. Traded sectors are those products, those services that make a regional or national economy distinct from others," said Amy Liu, senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.
As part of a multi-year study, CenterState and The Brookings Institution identified those traded sectors that the 12 county region of Central and Northern New York can excel in.
"These are natural gas and energy production, I.T., medical devices, agro products, food processing," said Liu.
Experts say understanding what is going on on a global scale and taking advantage of emerging markets across the world is something local businesses here in the North Country and Central New York are poised to do well.
"Our higher education institutions are attracting foreign students from all over the world. So what are we doing to tap into their knowledge? To their language expertise, their networks and their connections," said Robert Simpson, President of CenterState CEO.
The plan was laid out at Clarkson University, where President Tony Collins said it's in the school's best interest to do whatever it can to help the local economy.
"The more that we are involved in economic development, particularly in job growth, creating intellectual capital, startup companies, that increases the footprint of this university into those activities and provides a living laboratory for many of our students," said Clarkson University Anthony Collins.
The study praised the work of the Regional Economic Development Councils as an important first step in transforming the economy.
The report highlighted the need for change, saying households in the 12 county region make 20 percent less annually than the national average.