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Hochul makes stops in central NY focusing on smart growth and sustainability

Tom Magnarelli
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul tours Syracuse University’s Center of Excellence.";

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul made a few stops in central New York on Tuesday focusing on smart growth and sustainability. Hochul toured Syracuse University’s Center of Excellence where students and professors are working on new ways to conserve energy through air conditioning.

That research is through a U.S. Department of Energy grant and is in partnership with the Carrier Corporation. Hochul said these centers of excellence across the state have raised billions in revenue and create thousands of jobs.

“We think this is where the future lies, whether it’s in finding ways for alternative energy or as we had a major conference here last month on unmanned aerial systems," Hochul said. "This is the epicenter of that research and that testing going on between the corridor, between Rome and Syracuse. And the rest of the world is watching.”

The centers of excellence are collaborations between academic research and the business sector. Hochul said the state does not want to just invest in the larger industries but also wants to support new entrepreneurs.

"It’s been a tough few decades," Hochul said. "We know that places like upstate, I’m from Buffalo, I’ve seen Syracuse when I was a student here, have been hit hard by the loss of traditional manufacturing and the textiles and the bread and butter industries. But now we’re finally shifting to a new economy where people are going to have a stake in it and get more people back to work.”

Hochul was also in Utica to announce $2 million dollars in grant funding for brownfield redevelopment projects. She said that funding is important to older cities along the Erie Canal.

“A lot of them have the old remnants of the industrial past," Hochul said. "It costs money to clean up the sites and make them reusable.”

Applications for the funding are due in March.

While in Syracuse, Hochul also toured a new facility for SUNY Upstate Medical University’s nursing school and she met with the university’s new president.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.