For many years, Upstate New York was losing jobs and its population was dwindling in large part to the shift to a global economy that saw manufacturing and other jobs head out-of-state and overseas. Today, under the leadership and vision of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the Upstate economy is in the middle of a resurgence, with businesses growing and generating economic opportunities in communities – from Western New York and the Southern Tier to the North Country and Mid-Hudson regions.
New York is fueled by talent and resources that are leading smart, dynamic, innovative companies and new businesses to move and thrive in the state. At a time when the state’s taxes are at their lowest in decades and the private-sector jobs are at historic highs, New York is investing an additional $150 billion in the nation’s largest infrastructure program, reinforcing the state’s prime business location.
The resurgence has also come thanks to an unwavering focus on the Upstate New York economy, as evidenced by commitments like the Buffalo Billion and $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI), and more recently, investments to transform downtowns and local airports. Together, these efforts are creating thousands of jobs and spurring private investment in every corner of Upstate New York.
The URI was launched in 2017 to advance efforts aimed at systematically revitalizing the Upstate economy, and was modeled after the success in Western New York. After a rigorous competition, $500 million (over five years) was awarded to each the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Central NY regions – providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for communities to work together to address the economic challenges in their regions, and generate jobs and opportunity. Additionally, the other four regions in the competition are each receiving $50 million to fund top projects and strategies to advance their URI plans for economic growth.
New York State’s diverse and talented workforce is a key to business success and growth here. That success is reflected in the record number of Fortune 500 companies that have made their home in New York, the state’s top-tier educational institutions, and the state’s ongoing investment in the talent of tomorrow. Take a look at some of the reasons why businesses are starting, growing and thriving in New York:
- #1 in the Northeast in total number of STEM grads
- #2 in the nation for the highest number of residents who are scientists and engineers
- #3 in the country for high-tech employment
New York State is actively invested in workforce development efforts and programs designed to train workers for an innovation economy. The Governor’s Workforce Development Initiative, launched in May 2019, will invest $175 million statewide to prepare New Yorkers for 21st century jobs and to meet the current and future needs of businesses and growing industries.
New York is home to a nation-leading $6 million investment in computer science for teachers and students and also to investments in educational partnerships addressing workforce needs. SUNY and the state Department of Labor are developing apprenticeship positions in advanced manufacturing and healthcare and advanced manufacturing labs at Buffalo’s Burgard High School are giving students high-tech tools for cutting-edge jobs. New York’s unique industry-university partnerships, including NYSTAR programs and tax-free zones for businesses, also provide opportunities for businesses to benefit from university R&D resources and for students to get hands-on experience in businesses that are launching and growing in the state.
The future of business in New York is moving ever upward, buoyed by the lowest taxes in decades, a talented workforce, world-class innovations and major investments in the essential building blocks of progress: infrastructure and transportation. By making infrastructure and transportation projects a key priority, the State of New York is demonstrating a strong commitment to remaining competitive in an evolving global economy.
New York is making major investments in airports, roads and bridges around the state. The soaring spans of the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and the Kosciuszko Bridge are open to traffic and redefining the New York landscape. The state’s airports are being transformed – from LaGuardia and JFK to Plattsburgh, Albany, Syracuse and Rochester – along with new train stations in Rochester and Schenectady. New York City’s Pennsylvania Station is transforming from the historic James A. Farley Post Office into the 255,000-square-foot Moynihan Train Hall, a 21st century world-class transportation hub.
New York also announced in July 2019 that they are committed to generating nearly 1,700 megawatts of offshore wind—key to reaching the state’s goal of 100 percent renewable by 2040 and expected to create $3.2 billion in economic activity and more than 1,600 jobs. And the New NY Broadband Program is bringing high-speed broadband access to all corners of the state—giving all New Yorkers access to the innovation economy.
Diversity Strengthens Business
New York’s business leaders know that the state’s diverse workforce is its strength. The state has a history of embracing diversity and equal rights, including an “Open Doors Campaign” affirming that legacy and supported by leaders of companies such as PepsiCo and Mastercard.
And, thanks to Governor Cuomo’s holistic approach to economic development, the future for Upstate has never been brighter. Efforts today are ensuring that when the next generation of New Yorkers is choosing where to live, work and raise their families, Upstate New York is a place they can proudly call “home.”