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Mohawk Valley EDGE Announces Regional Business Plan

After two years of research and planning, Mohawk Valley EDGE along with regional partners presented a new plan for our region. Officials say The Metropolitan Business Plan sets the standards for future growth and prosperity in the Mohawk Valley. The Washington D.C.-based Brookings Institution released a comprehensive study of our region this morning. They say Mohawk Valley has a strong potential to thrive in technology fields, but regional officials need to find ways to help local businesses connect with each other and access global markets. They say the growth in global markets can boost Central New York's exports and that can also grow our economy.
After two years of research and planning, Mohawk Valley EDGE along with regional partners presented a new plan for our region. Officials say The Metropolitan Business Plan sets the standards for future growth and prosperity in the Mohawk Valley. The Washington D.C.-based Brookings Institution released a comprehensive study of our region this morning. They say Mohawk Valley has a strong potential to thrive in technology fields, but regional officials need to find ways to help local businesses connect with each other and access global markets. They say the growth in global markets can boost Central New York's exports and that can also grow our economy.

"Increasingly these specializations must have global reach, we also must have innovation, and then we need skilled workers. That is human capital to grow them, attract them, retain them, and most importantly to allign your skilled labor to the clusters in innovation that is need and demanded by the economy," says Amy Lui, Brookings Institution representative.

"The key take-away is a forward looking plan to really provide a framework in how to guide decisions and how investments are made," says Steven DiMeo, Mohawk Valley EDGE President.

Based on these findings, the plan recommends eight strategies designed to drive growth to our region.

Culminating an intensive period of research, planning and development, Mohawk Valley EDGE, CenterState CEO and the Brookings Institution, along with regional partners including The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, released today the CenterState Agenda for Economic Opportunity. The Agenda identifies five key findings with clear implications for redefining the region’s economic profile:

• The region holds strong potential to excel in new technology fields
• The growth in global markets can boost the region’s exports and global fluency
• The region’s innovation ecosystem is still emerging and requires new investment
• The region must retain and expand a skilled workforce, grow economic opportunity and develop employer-driven approaches to align workers and jobs
• The 21st century economy requires modernizing local government

Based on these findings, the Agenda recommends eight top-level strategies designed to drive growth, build synergies across the region and create a new center of gravity for the next economy. Together, the findings and strategies offer a roadmap for the region to adopt a shared vision for the future, align priorities, organize collaborative action, and engage a widening circle of leaders and stakeholders.

Four initiatives are already the focus of major implementation efforts, with others to be delivered going forward. The CenterState region is poised to implement the following initiatives across critical fronts:

• Establish the Data to Decisions Innovation Alliance to catalyze growth through cutting edge research, product and market development and attraction of world class talent
• Launch a Regional Seed and Venture Fund which will offer needed investment support to emerging businesses in the region
• Establish a Commission on Government Modernization to evaluate the current condition of government and engage the community to plan the future for the region based on the findings
• Implement the CenterState Export Initiative to elevate the region’s global profile by enhancing exports and targeting foreign direct investment opportunities



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