Higher Education and Increased Job Opportunities are Vital to Restoring Ailing Economy

Legislative column by Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R,C,I-Newport)
June 4, 2010

Our region is blessed with wonderful resources that offer great potential in terms of education and jobs. We have two outstanding community colleges, Herkimer County Community College and Fulton Montgomery Community College, whose course offerings dovetail with our business community. Nearby, the State University of New York Institute of Technology (SUNYIT) is another institution of higher learning with similar course offerings. By providing incentives to our younger residents, we can offer them a unique opportunity to be educated at a prominent and ever-growing institution. Technology and manufacturing jobs are once again becoming more prevalent in the Mohawk Valley, and itís important that we invest in local, higher education to prepare our students for the real world challenges of tomorrow.

I have been an ardent supporter of creating incentives and opportunities for local businesses to help draw talent from our local institutions. I am the prime-sponsor of a bill in the Assembly that would establish a program to encourage growth in manufacturing by providing tax incentives to manufacturing firms that meet certain benchmarks in job creation.

The bill, which would be administered by the Commissioner of Economic Development, would reward established manufacturing firms that meet specified benchmarks in job creation over a five-year period with specified tax credits, thus encouraging the creation of new manufacturing jobs in New York state. Manufacturing firms have long been a vital mechanism for growth throughout the state.

Schenectady was built by General Electric. Rochester grew with Eastman Kodak. Many areas of the state were established or experienced enormous growth because companies were offering new, well-paying jobs in those areas, which in turn help other sectors of the economy grow. This symbiotic relationship between manufacturing and the rest of New Yorkís economy demonstrates how important the manufacturing sector is to our economic recovery, and why it is so important to offer programs that foster continued growth.

My work in Albany continues to be focused on responsible spending and creating new opportunities for growth within our economy. Our younger residents are the fabric of our community and they are what make New York strong, so it is essential that they receive the necessary education and have good-paying local jobs available in order for them to stay in the Mohawk Valley. I remind my colleagues of this every day: we are in Albany to do the peopleís work; itís our responsibility to make opportunities for work available to all. As always, if you have any questions or comments about our local economy or any state issues, please donít hesitate to contact me at either my Johnstown office at (518) 762-6486, or my Herkimer office at (315) 866-1632.