Earlier this week, the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council held their inaugural meeting at the University at Buffalo. Having just been formed a week earlier by Governor Cuomo, as outlined in the enacted 2011-12 State Budget, I congratulate Regional Co-Chairs Satish K. Tripathi, President of the University at Buffalo, and Howard A. Zemsky, Managing Partner at the Larkin Development Group, as well as all of the members and elected officials on the council, and I applaud their fast action to get started on strengthening economic development in Western New York.
As our state ranks first nationally in the number of Tier 1 universities, I applaud the governor’s choice to formally mark the important and longstanding partnership between our regional economic success and that of the University at Buffalo with his appointments. In fact, thanks to these partnerships, businesses in our state are now offering a collective $24.4 billion high-tech industry payroll.
Partnerships, such as those innovated at the University at Buffalo, are preparing graduates to compete in high tech and emerging fields, developing a well trained industry-specific workforce to help attract employers, and offering businesses cutting-edge research and development opportunities – two measures necessary for any business to succeed, particularly high tech, manufacturing and other industries.
Coupled with these attractions, however, our state – and our region – must offer existing employers and would-be employers a reduced cost of doing business. Current energy, healthcare, start up and tax rates are simply too high to attract many valuable companies, especially when we are competing with 47 other states with lower business costs.
I believe the governor has assembled a very talented council to serve our region and to tackle these specific economic development concerns. As a former business owner and as the representative of the people and employers in the 142nd Assembly District, I look forward to sharing my experience, being the voice of those I represent and partnering with the council to continue our success in revitalizing the Western New York economy and putting residents back to work.