(Post has been updated throughout)
The Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson and Southern Tier were among the top winners at Wednesday’s Regional Economic Development Council Awards, with the three regions each taking home more than $90 million in grants and tax incentives.
Five “best plan” awardees received an extra $25 million grant to implement their economic-development plans. The Finger Lakes region, which includes the city of Rochester, received the highest total, with $96.2 million.
The Mid-Hudson, which stretches from Sullivan and Dutchess counties south to Westchester County, received $92.8 million. The Southern Tier—covering the Binghamton, Ithaca and Elmira regions—received a total of $91.1 million.
“We’re absolutely thrilled,” said Sandy Parker, president and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance and a member of the Finger Lakes council. “Our projects are designed to create jobs for the Finger Lakes, so we think we’re well poised to move the region forward in the next two or three years.”
The North Country and Central New York were named “top performers” for their work in implementing last year’s plans and took more than $90 million each.
In all, the $738 million from the state will help fund 725 projects across the state, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. A full list of the projects was not immediately provided by the Cuomo Administration.
The competitive-grant program was first launched last year and has been touted by Cuomo as a way to spur the state’s economy.
“This is working, my friends. It’s working,” Cuomo said at the awards presentation. “There’s a different energy in New York.”
Among the projects receiving a boost from the state are the Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation—a partnership between the University of Rochester and computer giant IBM—and the Golisano Institute of Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The centers will each receive $5 million in state funds for research and development programs.
In the Southern Tier, Binghamton University will partner with private companies to build the Southern Tier High Technology Incubator. The program was awarded a $7 million.
For the Mid-Hudson region, $3 million will go to help create the New York State Cloud Computing and Analytics Center at Marist College in Poughkeepsie.
“We’re excited,” said Harvey Stenger, president of Binghamton University and one of the co-chairs of the Southern Tier council. “Having one of the beat strategic plans identified today is a great honor.”