In the past year, the Capital Region has lived up to its Tech Valley moniker, receiving state grants for transformative projects and hosting big names like President Barack Obama and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
The Center for Economic Growth has been at the center of the region’s transformation into a hub for key technology industries, said president and CEO F. Michael Tucker.
“We have played a major role in sowing the seeds of change, by helping to secure key strategic investments and partnerships, fostering the expansion of local businesses, attracting new business and investment, and preparing the region for growth.”
The Albany-based economic development organization held its annual meeting Wednesday night in the GE Theatre at Proctors, where a crowd of business, government and community leaders gathered to hear about its successes over the last year and plans going forward.
To start, Tucker told the crowd that the nonprofit organization is focused on getting back to its roots. It began as a forum to discuss issues of regional concern and to carefully identify initiatives that would address them. These usually involved pooling partners, expertise and resources with businesses across the region.
The center’s agenda for the future involves two components: attracting and preparing. Several programs are designed to market the region nationally and globally, said Tucker. In addition, it has designed initiatives to promote a “robust workforce and education pipeline” — from K-12 science, technology, engineering and math initiatives to community college, four-year and graduate programs.
“We’ve heard an increasing refrain from them and from expansion-minded companies, like GlobalFoundries, that infrastructure will be one of the primary determinants of this region’s long-term development trajectory,” said Tucker.
To do this, he said, the region should continue to strengthen its health care, transportation, communications and energy infrastructure alongside its artistic, cultural, historic and recreational infrastructure.
“We must also look closely at realistic opportunities for municipal consolidation and shared local government services,” he said.
The center also held board elections Wednesday evening, electing the following individuals to its 2013 Board of Directors: Penelope Andrews of Albany Law School; Daniel Armbrust of SEMATECH; David Golub of Price Chopper Supermarkets; Dean Fuleihan of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering; Joan Hayner of CapitalCare Medical Group; Ann Moynihan of Documentation Strategies, Inc.; James Pascarell of nfrastructure; Raymond Rudolph of Clough Harbor & Associates; and Peter Wohl of SEFCU.