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Neighborhood Under Siege: Rebuilding

Abandoned buildings coat the streets of Cornhill. Buildings that once housed booming businesses are daily reminders of a neighborhood plagued by a lack of jobs and opportunity.
Wednesday is part three of our Neighborhood Under Siege coverage. You've heard about the problems that plague the Cornhill area. But looking forward, what can be done?

Abandoned buildings coat the streets of Cornhill. Buildings that once housed booming businesses are daily reminders of a neighborhood plagued by a lack of jobs and opportunity.

"Most of the major businesses in the area - Griffiss Air Force Base, GE - have all left the area. The only jobs that are available were people that would go towards Syracuse or out," says Rodney Yearby, of Utica.

But the Chamber of Commerce wants to reverse this trend.

"That’s a concern for me that we have a problem in Cornhill that we need more businesses. So I think you've got to change the culture a little bit," says Pamela Matt, Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.

Matt says there's a feeling in Cornhill that doesn't breed positive change. She says the community needs to work on shifting the attitude in the neighborhood.

"Once you start a positive feel, I think they build upon themselves. So I think that that's the way we have to approach something like Cornhill," she says.

Matt wants to start rebuilding and reshaping the idea of Cornhill and the Utica community will work together to make a positive change.

"I think if we get the word out that they need assistance and they need some opportunities in the Cornhill area,” she says, “That will happen.

And Matt also told me she thinks the people of Cornhill need to gain confidence so they can change the stigma of their area and in the meantime the Chamber of Commerce will do its part to bring businesses back to the area.

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