Former President Bill Clinton will deliver a keynote speech today at a convention of 10 regional economic development councils seeking to stimulate the state’s economy.
Clinton will appear at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. The topic of his address was not announced.
His remarks will begin at 12:15 p.m. To view the video, visit the governor’s website by clicking here. (Click on the yellow horizontal bar for the link to the video.)
Michael Castellana, CEO of SEFCU and co-chair of the Capital Region’s Economic Development Council, said he expects Clinton to discuss “lessons learned and the need for partnerships” in achieving economic development results.
“His accomplishments are somewhat legendary and he is very motivational,” Castellana said.
Clinton will be waiving his speaking fee at the convention, which will feature a series of panel discussions and workshops. Members of the general public who do not already have a ticket will not be able to attend.
Castellana said he believes Clinton is here at the request of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who established the regional councils earlier this year. “Given the relationship between the governor and the president, that is the key behind it,” he said.
Cuomo served in Clinton’s administration as secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1997 to 2001.
The councils are competing for $200 million in economic development funding from the state. They will also be eligible to tap into $800 million in economic development money administered by various state agencies. The difference this time is they will be able to apply for grants through a single form, rather than applying through each agency.
Cuomo has said the regional councils are modeled after the federal Empowerment Zone program that began under President Clinton in 1994.
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