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Essential New York Initiative

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The Essential New York Initiative is a unique and innovative plan to accelerate the transition of the CenterState New York region to a knowledge-based economy.

The plan was developed in consultation with the Battelle Memorial Institute and Catalytix, a firm co-founded by Dr. Richard Florida – author of the best-selling book The Rise of the Creative Class. This first-ever pairing of these two widely-respected consulting groups brings together the premiere approach to planning for technology development with cutting-edge thinking on the importance of talent, tolerance and creativity to economic and community growth.

CenterState New York has faced a number of challenges in its efforts to position itself for economic and community growth. With every challenge comes opportunity, and those challenges need not serve as barriers to future progress. By adopting growth strategies to build upon its strengths, the CenterState New York region can be highly competitive in the knowledge-based economy of the future.

The Essential New York Initiative details six master strategies for regional economic growth and offers dozens of detailed recommendations as a framework for achieving that success:

Strategy #1: Aggressively Targeting Middle-Market Companies with High Potential For Expansion and Supporting Existing Industries
  • CHALLENGE: Emerging companies need more support to grow.
  • OPPORTUNITY: Spur immediate job growth by capitalizing on the region’s 2,200 existing small technology companies with high potential for expansion.
Strategy #2: Optimizing Key Industry Clusters
  • CHALLENGE: Without an organized effort and sufficient resources, the region will fail to capitalize on the high potential of its industrial and occupational clusters.
  • OPPORTUNITY: Expansion of the region’s key clusters will create jobs and sustainable long-term growth.
Strategy #3: Creating, Retaining, and Attracting Talent in Central Upstate New York
  • CHALLENGE: The region is losing too many of its young people which comprise much of its future workforce.
  • OPPORTUNITY: The region can capitalize on its strong base of creative talent to fuel future economic growth.
Strategy #4: Leveraging Colleges and Universities as Economic and Community Growth Engines
  • CHALLENGE: The region has not maximized the potential of its colleges and universities to be key economic drivers.
  • OPPORTUNITY: The region’s colleges and universities can lead the successful transition to a knowledge-based economy.
Strategy #5: Encouraging the Creation and Growth of a Stronger Entrepreneurial Culture
  • CHALLENGE: Central Upstate New York lacks a strong entrepreneurial culture. The region does not have a recent history of entrepreneurship, lacks a critical mass of start-up companies, and lacks opportunities for networking among entrepreneurs.
  • OPPORTUNITY: Recent initiatives are beginning to build a network to support the growth of new companies.
Strategy #6: Developing a Broader Regional Consciousness
  • CHALLENGE: Individual communities within the region lack both the scale and resources to be competitive on a national and international level.
  • OPPORTUNITY: An expanded region will compete more effectively for jobs and growth.

For this ambitious plan to succeed, a broad level of cooperation among the many businesses, not-for-profits, economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, public officials and private individuals who comprise the leadership of this 12-county region is needed. Participation by all stakeholders throughout the region is welcomed and encouraged. Working together, we can reshape the CenterState New York economy.