Four years ago Monday, the Central New York Region hit the jackpot. It was award $500 million dollars of taxpayer money by New York State to be used to revitalize and energize the economy.
In 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo created the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) competition to strategically focus on the economic development of Upstate NY, as part of long-term, regionally-based plans for economic growth through the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs). The REDCs have changed the way New York State invests state resources, through a community-based, bottom-up approach designed to meet each region’s needs, involving private-public partnerships of local experts and stakeholders. Through a competitive process for state resources, the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA), the REDCs create strategies for growth through projects and initiatives that attract private investment and create jobs.
The Upstate Revitalization Initiative dolled out three “Top Performer” prizes to the Central New York Region, Finger Lakes Region and Southern Tier region. The Central New York Region Economic Council came up with a plan to persuade the state that its region deserved to be a top performer.
The $500 million is given out over the course of five years. Year four of five is wrapping up this year. 2020 is the last year of the funding.