DURING THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BUDGET HEARING
Highlights three of the many ongoing projects that will help boost employment opportunities
ALBANY – The Southern Tier’s need for jobs and economic development were central in Tuesday’s budget hearing in Albany. Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I- 57th District) steered her conversation with Howard Zemsky, President & CEO of Empire State Development and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development, toward several local projects that will be key to the future success and prosperity of the region.
During her questioning, Senator Young thanked President Zemsky for his continued commitment to the region.
She then used the opportunity to inquire about the yet-to-be-detailed project for Chautauqua County lined out by Governor Cuomo in the Executive Budget proposal, and highlighted the need for further construction on U.S. Route 219 and the New Forest Economy project taking shape at Alfred State College’s Wellsville Campus.
Senator Young said, “A lot of my constituents in Chautauqua County were very excited to hear that there is a line item in the Governor’s Executive Proposal that would allocate $200 million to Chautauqua County.”
While he could not shed light on many additional details, President Zemsky did say, “This is an exciting project. This is a commercialization center, so it is production oriented. It would be in the model of the CNSE, SUNY Poly model, where the state would own the assets and the facility. It would be, what I think you would call a 21st Century industry and innovation. I share your enthusiasm about it. We’ve been able to leverage the relationships Nano has developed with leading companies around the world. I think that will be another example of that.”
She also called attention to the efforts by many in the Western New York region to push for progress on U.S. Route 219.
Senator Young said, “The federal government has passed transportation funds. I would love to be able to work with you [President Zemsky] to get this kick-started again. There are several stakeholders, as you know. We’ve looked at logistics, we’ve looked at economic development, and there are many, many exciting things happening in Western New York. To have that major north-south route that would go from Toronto, Canada, all the way down to Florida would be phenomenal. I think this is a really great opportunity and would only add to what the Governor and the Legislature have been able to accomplish over the past couple years.”
Finally, Senator Young thanked President Zemsky for his continued support of the New Forest Economy because of how the project will help grow the economy in the Southern Tier, especially Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties, and across the state.
Last fall, Senator Young was able to secure a $1 million grant to help fund the development of the Biorefinery Development and Commercialization Center (BDCC) on Alfred State’s Wellsville Campus, the first phase of the New Forest Economy. The BDCC will be used to further advance research of the Hot Water Extraction (HWE) process developed in the laboratory at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). The HWE process uses natural resources to create a number of industrial products and the remaining cellulose material can be used for pellets and other products.
Video of Senator Young’s exchange with President Zemsky can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?