The Genesis Group hosted a presentation at Herkimer County Community College today of the county’s future plans.

“We reached out to this county to conduct this county-wide assessment. We had just come from doing one with the city of Rome, and the city of Utica,” said Ray Durso, Jr., Executive Director of the Genesis Group.

Durso said the 14-month process started with a public forum and then trickled into separate round table discussions. After all of that, one thing stood out.

“At the end of the day it was all about marketing the great things this county has to offer,” Durso said.

Six areas were chosen by residents that need a closer look including government affairs, education, economic development, housing, healthcare, and tourism. One by one, representatives of those six areas stepped up to the podium today to share their findings.

“The glaring thing missing from Herkimer County assets was healthcare. That just didn’t rise to the level of recognition of an asset for the county,” said Michael Ogden, President and CEO of Little Falls Hospital.

Something Michael Ogden said needs to be fixed. And it’s not too far from an idea presented by Senator James Seward.

“We’ve got to take action in order to stem that trend that we’ve seen in Herkimer county and throughout Upstate New York for that matter, and that is losing too many people, out migration of people, particularly our young people,” Seward said.

These are all thoughts that Durso said need a follow up plan.

“Today was pivotal because now you’re able to report the findings. But what follows today is the next step,” Durso said.

And that next move, Durso said, is clear.

“Now we’re looking for established organizations who are already out there and say hey, that’s something that might relate to us, I’d be willing to take that on,” Durso said.

Durso said he hopes to host another event just like this one within the next few months to involve their newest partner, The Community Foundation.