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In State of the County speech, Picente puts focus on high tech industries, tourism and gun violence

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente delivers the 2023 State of Oneida County address.
Oneida County Office of the County Executive
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente delivers the 2023 State of Oneida County address.

Growth in high tech industries and tourism are in Oneida County’s future according to County Executive Anthony Picente in his yearly State of the County report.

Picente said Oneida County is a position it’s never been in before. With more than 2,000 people working in the bourgeoning semi-conductor industry, he wants to build on that with a first-in-the-nation plan to lure more supply chain companies to the area.

"The goals are simple, you bring your semi-conductor supply-chain company here and you have a partner in Oneida County," Picente said. "We’ll help you obtain federal funding, train you workers and educate new ones."

Picente is also proposing a Shark Tank-style challenge to allow potential developers to pitch ideas and encourage more business development in tourism hubs. While Picente is bullish about these ideas, he says the county also needs to help its biggest industry, agricultural, especially dairy famers, by creating an emergency fund.

"When milk is dumped it is the farmer that takes the brunt of that loss," Picente said. "While they may be able to absorb that financial hit most of the time, there is inevitably a breaking point. A few thousand dollars in the hands of our dairy farmers when they need it most, can have a real impact."

Picente is also proposing a program to help farmers find workers, by linking them with a farm training programs that matches “differently-abled” individuals with farm work.

The county executive is also taking aim at gun violence and outlined plans to blunt increasing gun violence, by installing security cameras at all county-owned facilities and other high-crime, high-density areas.

"We know the crime in these areas is hurting our small businesses and keeping some residents and tourists from patronizing the establishments," Picente said. "We have a message for repeat offenders out there who have been breaking the law. When a crime is committed in these locations, we will see you, we will catch you, and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”

Picente is also proposing programs that will combat homelessness, boost mental health services at schools, and assess the housing market, to identify gaps in the housing supply.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.