Deadline day for regional councils
Pencils down. Time is up.
"Today's the day all the homework assignments are due," says Empire State Development President and CEO Ken Adams.
The governor's ten regional economic development councils had until 4 p.m. Monday to submit their final strategic plans.
The state's economic development arm tells the Innovation Trail that all ten councils are in the process of meeting the submission guidelines.
"People have worked really, really hard," Adams says. "This has turned out to be a Herculean effort. And, you know, a pretty tight timeframe."
The councils set out in August to create a strategic plan for their respective regions. Teams of 20 to 30 volunteer advisers cobbled together regional objectives and priority projects. The hope is that the localized approach will deliver on the governor's economic development and job creation goals.
Now that the plans are done, Adams says they become "the blueprints for economic development."
"We all are now guided by these regional plans," says ESD's Adams. "They become the guidelines for this agency, the eight other agencies in the Consolidated Funding Application and, frankly, all state agencies that somehow affect economic development at the local level."
Adams says the governor will soon name a "top-shelf group" of economic development experts to grade the strategic plans on an "apples to apples" basis.
The four with the highest marks will each win $40 million in state incentives. The six runners up have to split the remaining $40 million.
"We hope to have decisions made before the holidays," says Adams.
After that, Adams says state resources could begin flowing "prior to the end of this calendar year."