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CenterState Region Releases Metropolitan Business Plan
Date:  11/7/2013
ArticleType:  Press Release

CenterState New York Agenda for Economic Opportunity Outlines Five Drivers for Regional Growth
Plan Developed Through Collaboration with Brookings Institution

Culminating an intensive period of research, planning and development, CenterState CEO and the Brookings Institution, along with regional partners, released today the CenterState Agenda for Economic Opportunity. The Agenda identifies five key findings with clear implications for redefining the region’s economic profile:

  • The region holds strong potential to excel in new technology fields
  • The growth in global markets can boost the region’s exports and global fluency
  • The region’s innovation ecosystem is still emerging and requires new investment 
  • The region must retain and expand a skilled workforce, grow economic opportunity and develop employer-driven approaches to align workers and jobs
  • The 21st century economy requires modernizing local government

Based on these findings, the Agenda recommends eight top-level strategies designed to drive growth, build synergies across the region and create a new center of gravity for the next economy. Together, the findings and strategies offer a roadmap for the region to adopt a shared vision for the future, align priorities, organize collaborative action, and engage a widening circle of leaders and stakeholders.

Four initiatives are already the focus of major implementation efforts, with others to be delivered going forward. The CenterState region is poised to implement the following initiatives across critical fronts:

  • Establish the Data to Decisions Innovation Alliance to catalyze growth through cutting edge research, product and market development and attraction of world class talent
  • Launch a Regional Seed and Venture Fund which will offer needed investment support to emerging businesses in the region
  • Establish a Commission on Government Modernization to evaluate the current condition of government and engage the community to plan the future for the region based on the findings
  • Implement the CenterState Export Initiative to elevate the region’s global profile by enhancing exports and targeting foreign direct investment opportunities

“This dramatic shift in our regional economy over the last decade has created new realities and competitive dynamics for the region. The economic base of CenterState New York is evolving, and we must be deliberate in how we steer our region’s economic future,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “Through the CenterState Agenda for Economic Opportunity’s key findings and strategies, we will strengthen our commitment to grow opportunity across the entire 12-county region.”

The findings of the CenterState Agenda for Economic Opportunity draw from the engagement of hundreds of stakeholders – including business, government, philanthropy, and education partners – as well as technical expertise from Battelle Technology Partnership Practice.  As a whole, the Agenda has emerged from a metropolitan business planning framework provided by the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program and RW Ventures, LLC.

“Central New York has a strong history of regional collaboration, and now it’s taking that to new heights with this business plan for growth,” said Amy Liu, senior fellow and co-director of the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program.  “This unique, 12-county collaboration will put CenterState New York on the global map by strengthening the region’s distinctive assets for long-term economic success.”

“The fundamental message for CenterState to succeed in the next Economy is this: The region was a powerhouse in the industrial economy, and is poised to become a global leader in the knowledge economy,” said Robert Weissbourd, president of RW Ventures, LLC.  “This transition won’t successfully happen by itself.  It requires deliberately creating a new center of gravity around the key assets – underlying technologies, human capital, key business concentrations – which are emerging and beginning to reinforce each other to define the region.  This Metropolitan Business Plan identifies these market opportunities and specifies mutually reinforcing strategies to make CenterState the place where firms and people in targeted advanced industries will want to locate and succeed, leading to continual innovation and growth.”

The work proceeded in tandem with the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils. It drew extensively from the unprecedented public input and planning by the Central New York, Southern Tier, North Country, Finger Lakes, and Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development areas, all of which include some counties in the 12-county CenterState region.

The Agenda was made possible with the generous support of the following regional partners:

• CenterState CEO
• City of Syracuse
• Onondaga County
• Onondaga Civic Development Corporation
• Syracuse University
• Mohawk Valley EDGE
• The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Inc.
• Central New York Community Foundation, Inc.
• Cornell University
• Tompkins County Area Development
• Clarkson University
• National Grid
• Welch Allyn
• The Allyn Foundation
• Seneca County IDA
• Central New York Technology Development Organization
• Operation Oswego County
• The Gifford Foundation

In 2011, CenterState New York was the only region in the country selected to develop a Metropolitan Business Plan while simultaneously working with Brookings on a Metropolitan Export Initiative, which was released in April 2012. The resulting Agenda provides a renewed regional economic development strategy and business growth plan across 12 counties.

The full market analysis that produced the CenterState Agenda for Economic Opportunity can be read at www.centerstateopportunity.com. In addition, the site includes appendices, metro profiles, strategies, and opportunities for engagement.

About Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program
The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings provides decision-makers with cutting-edge research and policy ideas for improving the health and prosperity of metropolitan areas, including their component cities, suburbs, and rural areas. To learn more, please visit:  www.brookings.edu/metro. Follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/brookingsmetro.

Read the full release.