September 28


by Cuomo 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              CONTACT: Josh Vlasto, (347) 268-0240

September 24, 2010                                                   


NY Works Agenda” Will Create and Retain Jobs Across the State, Full Agenda Available at

Lieutenant Governor to Chair Upstate Business Advisory Council 

Andrew Cuomo today unveiled his NY Works Agenda, a comprehensive seven-part plan to revitalize the State’s economy and get New Yorkers back to work. Cuomo announced the plan at Synacor, Inc., a global technology firm in Buffalo, where he outlined how to both revitalize and sustain New York’s economic development.

“We used to be the global economic capital, and Western New York was once the gateway to America. With my NY Works Agenda and the help of business leaders throughout Upstate, we can open New York for business once again,” Andrew Cuomo said. “Aiding business owners, retaining and creating employment opportunities, and investing in higher education are a central part of my plan to revitalize our economy. By taking the action outlined in my NY Works Agenda, we can create the jobs New Yorkers need and set our State on a path for long term prosperity.”

The NY Works Agenda focuses on aggressive business development efforts, in particular:

  • NY Open for Business, an initiative that will lower the costs of doing business in New York and improve access to the State’s resources. The program will reduce taxes for new State businesses; lower New York’s high energy costs through aggressive use of efficiencies and demand side reductions; reform other cost drivers like workers’ compensation; get businesses much-needed capital; and create a new “one-stop” shop for businesses that provides access to economic incentives and reduces regulatory delays.
  • Creation of regional economic development councils that will review local development plans and award the most comprehensive proposals with State funding. Led by the Mayor Robert Duffy, who will serve as Chair of the Upstate Business Advisory Council, the councils will work with public and private economic development organizations, institutions of higher education and other stakeholders, the councils will incentivize programs that:

 o Get New Yorkers back to work through strategic tax credits such as the “Jobs Now” tax credit will attract new businesses that hire unemployed New Yorkers, and an expansion of the recently enacted Excelsior program; and

 o Make our public and private universities jobs generators by facilitating partnerships between colleges and universities and the private sector to support an innovation economy and redesigning technical and career education and workforce development programming.

  • Create the “Rebuild-NY” Infrastructure Bank to pool and invest in New York’s critical infrastructure projects that will produce jobs and improve the State’s infrastructure that hampers economic growth.

“One of the many reasons I am so pleased to work with Bob Duffy is that he understands the issues facing the Upstate economy and has a proven track record in Rochester of bringing people together in an effort to find solutions and revitalize businesses,” Cuomo added. “With his leadership, and the assistance of so many dynamic business leaders from across Upstate New York, we will continue our important dialogue about making our State the place to do business.”

“I am eager to address the economic issues facing our entire State, and in particular, serving as Chair of the Upstate regional economic councils,” Mayor Duffy said. “The challenges facing Upstate are unique and I know that Andrew Cuomo is committed to finding unique solutions to revitalize the Upstate economy.”

Some highlights of NY Works Agenda include:

I. Make NY Business Friendly: “NY Open for Business” Initiative

  • Control Spending. Get New York’s explosive State and local government spending under control by imposing a State spending cap, vetoing State tax increases, incentivizing the consolidation of our more than 10,500 local governments, and capping local property taxes. 
  • Eliminate Taxes to Spur Growth. Eliminate the capital gains tax on investments in start-up and early stage companies.
  • Reduce Business Cost Drivers. Reduce New York’s high business cost drivers by completing the reforms to Workers Compensation, making it possible to achieve 20 percent savings in Workers Compensation expenses; and, enacting a permanent Power for Jobs program that reserves the benefits of low cost power for the Upstate manufacturers who need it to be competitive.
  • Cut Through the Bureaucratic Red Tape. Cut through regulatory red tape and connect NY businesses with available State and Federal small business incentive programs, and ease the regulatory process by creating a one-stop “Business Express” and Incentive Finder.

II. Forge a New NY Economic Development Paradigm: Regional Economic Development Councils

  • NY has tried regional councils that have not worked. We will forge a new model of regional councils that base economic development funding on performance by tying State incentives to the best comprehensive, long-term economic plans.
  • Rightsize our Economic Development Programs.  Coordinate the 115 local industrial development agencies, more than 600 local development councils, and 28 State agencies that deal with economic development by establishing regional public/private sector councils with higher education and other key stakeholders to develop long term, sustainable economic development strategies.

o Empower the Regional Councils to cut through the Albany bureaucracy so we can get things done. All the State agencies that impact economic development, including the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Transportation, the New York Power Authority and the Department of Agriculture and Markets, will be represented on the Regional Councils so we can break down bureaucratic silos and have the State speak with one voice.

o Mayor Duffy, as an Upstate leader with a record of working to improve the Rochester and Western New York economy, will serve as the Chair of the Upstate Regional Economic Councils.

  • Reward Performance.  Instead of simply providing State incentives, we will tie State funding to performance by making 2/3 of economic development funds subject to competition between regions to ensure that the largest opportunities Statewide have sufficient priority funding and placing. 
  • Provide Local Incentives. Allocate one-third of all economic development funds to control by the Regional Councils so they can quickly make decisions based on their local knowledge of the best opportunities within the region. 

III. Targeting Incentives to Get New Yorkers Back to Work

  • Enact an Emergency Tax Relief Program. Get New Yorkers back to work immediately, through a “Jobs Now” tax credit of up to $3,000 for businesses that hire new workers who have been unemployed for at least sixty days. 
  • Expand the “Excelsior” Tax Credit Program.  Give qualifying businesses a tax credit equal to 100% of the income tax revenue NYS will collect from their new employees for 10 years; bases the amount of property tax credits on the value of the property after the business has made its investment, not before any value has been added to the property; and pays businesses their credits as interim milestones are achieved, rather than paying nothing until the final milestone is met.

IV. Make Higher Education Job Generators

  • Establish Seed Fund to Turn Ideas into Jobs. Establish a New Technology Seed Fund to provide dollar-to-dollar matching funds for entrepreneurs who want to develop and market university-based research ideas.
  • Create “Innovation Economy” Grants.  Award grants through a competitive process to consortiums of higher education and industry in sectors that rely on large-scale research and development activity.  The goal of the Innovation Economy grants will be to create a critical mass of economic activity, after which private investment will be self-sustaining and not require additional governmental support beyond that which is provided to all companies in the State. 

V. Protect NY’s Small Business

  • Expand Access to Much-Needed Capital. Get capital and financing flowing again to small businesses by expanding the role of community banks, enhancing the State’s Linked Deposit Program to include refinancing and providing targeted collateral and portfolio support to expand lending by private lenders. 
  • Expand Opportunities for Minority/Women-Owned Businesses. Adopt innovative programs such as Owner Controlled Insurance Programs to ensure that Minority and Women Backed Enterprises (“MWBE”) participate in economic growth.

VI. Train a Workforce for the 21st Century

  • A New Workforce Development Paradigm. Create a system that aligns the needs of high-growth employers with job-seeking, as opposed to the existing “supply-side” system that is organized around the skill sets of work-ready job candidates irrespective of whether there are jobs available in those fields.
  • Better Workforce Development Coordination. Use the Regional Councils to coordinate the efforts of the State’s workforce development and economic development functions that are now managed through a complex system of federal as well as State agencies, including the Department of Labor and the State Education Department, with the delivery of on-the-ground services provided by innumerable agents, such as local Workforce Investment Boards (“WIBs”), One-Stop Employment Centers, county social services departments, and educational institutions including Community Colleges and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (“BOCES”). 
  • Address the Critical issue of Youth Employment.  Create a dual enrollment programs that allow high school students to enroll in courses at community college with a goal of increasing postsecondary access and success, particularly for minority and low-income students.  These dual-enrollment programs are employed with great success and varying degrees of emphasis in 40 states across the nation, as well as in the CUNY system. 

VII. Rebuild NY’s Infrastructure

  • Create the “Rebuild NY” State Infrastructure Bank. To maximize our infrastructure dollars, we will create the Rebuild NY Bank that will use money received from the State or the proposed Federal Infrastructure as equity, and lever that equity to create a pool of funds for investment into economic development or transportation infrastructure projects.  Projects conducted through the SIB will be eligible for Design-Build contracts, that have been demonstrated to reduce the cost of procurement by allowing for “value engineering” in the contracting process, and will facilitate the introduction of private capital and risk-sharing by the State in the construction of certain large projects, similar to what the Port Authority is now pursuing with respect to the Goethals Bridge project in Staten Island. 
  • Use Technology to Improve Efficiency. Improve efficiency of the State’s transportation program through better technology that can reduce costs in such areas as bridge inspections, truck weighing and traffic lights. 
  • Reduce Bidding Costs that Drive Up Costs. Allow shared bids by local governments and the State to save on mobilization costs for contractors, thereby reducing costs. 

In addition, Cuomo announced the creation of the Upstate Business Advisory Council. Chaired by the Mayor Duffy, the group will lead the NY Works Agenda discussion with business communities throughout the State. The Council includes:

  • Karthik Bala, CEO of Vicarious Visions
  • Guha Bala, President of Vicarious Visions
  • Pat Barrett
  • Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO of Xerox
  • Lou Ciminelli, Chairman and CEO of LPCiminelli Inc.
  • Robert Curley, Chairman of the New York Region, Berkshire Hills Bancorp
  • John Dyson, Chairman of the Millbank Capital Management
  • Frank S. Falatyn, CEO of PVI Solar; and President of FALA Technologies
  • Raymond J. Kinley Jr., President and CEO of Clough Harbour Associates
  • Rich Kober, President of Bitzer Scroll, Inc.
  • Wayne LeChase, Chairman of LeChaise Construction Services LLC
  • Jordan Levy, Partner of Softbank Capital; Chairman of Synacor, Inc.
  • Daniel T. Pickett III, Chairman and CEO of nfrastructure
  • Rob Sands, CEO, President and Director of Constellation Brands, Inc.
  • Jim Taylor, President of J.D. Taylor Construction Corporation
  • Jeff Vukleic, President of Saratoga Eagle
  • Daniel Wegman, CEO of Wegman’s Food Markets
  • Thomas Wilmot, CEO of Wilmorite Construction
  • Howard Zempsky, Managing Partner of Taurus Capital Partners LLC