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The Upstate Economy

Cuomo celebrates Central New York's $500 million revitalization plan win

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo and elected officials from central New York celebrated the awarding of $500 million to the region.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the $500 million Upstate Revitalization Initiative award to central New York signals a turning of the tide for the area. The region's economic development plan was one of three big winners in Cuomo's competition to invest $1.5 billion in upstate. At a ceremony in Syracuse Sunday to commemorate the region's success, Cuomo said this investment in upstate rights a wrong.
"Upstate New York was challenged economically," Cuomo said. "It had structural problems. The economy had moved away from upstate New York and too much attention went to downstate New York and in many ways, this is an equalizing of what the state did wrong over the past 20 years."

Over the next five years, central New York will receive $100 million annually. Cuomo says its plan rose to the occasion of the competition's goal. It combats tough issues like consolidating local governments and invests in long-term projects like indoor agriculture and drones.

Central New York Regional Council Co-Chairman Rob Simpson estimates the award will create 6,000 permanent jobs in the area.

"I am so excited for the vision we have laid out: investments in high tech development that could put central New York on the map for leadership in unmanned systems, recognizing the rural parts of our community with investments in agriculture, tackling hard problems like poverty."

The new jobs would be a relief for Oswego County, which in October had the second-highest unemployment rate in the state and the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant, which employs 615 people, is expected to be shut down in about a year. Cuomo says this award should help mitigate those losses.

"We will lose jobs," Cuomo said. "There's a give and take to the economy. What we have to do is do a better job of bringing in new industries and new jobs. That's what today's plan is all about: go out and find the industries of tomorrow and bring them here."

Simpson said the council is now concentrating on planning the execution of the project.