Tag Archives: Economic Development

The New York Gaming Facility Location Board selects advisory consultant

The New York Gaming Facility Location Board has selected the firm of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP to provide gaming advisory services in its review and ultimate selection of casino applicants for Upstate New York.

The selection of a consultant to provide the Gaming Facility Location Board members with analysis of the gaming industry and assist with the comprehensive review and evaluation of the applications is mandated by the Upstate New York Gaming and Economic Development Act.

The New York State Gaming Commission issued a Request for Proposals for the consultant in November 2013. The proposal put forth by Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP was selected over four other timely proposals received.

Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP has subcontracted with several entities to assist in the project, including financial advisory firm Christiansen Capital Advisors, investment bank Houlihan Lokey and gaming facility consultant Macomber International, Inc.

The announcement of the consultant is a good sign the timeline for casino licenses as announced by the Governor during his State of the State address is moving ahead as planned.

Read more on the New York Gaming Commission’s website.

Schools: an economic development issue

Rochester’s Mayor-elect Lovely Warren addressed a crowd of more than 300 leaders at a Vision-Future stressing the importance that education has on business and economic development.

According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Warren called the city’s schools an economic development issue, stressing that would be her focus along with safe streets.

Warren highlighted a problem faced by many urban school districts around the state: the lack of quality schools in the city, where “less than half of students graduate on time and just 5 percent are considered ready for college or the workforce when they do.”

State Education Commissioner John King was also in the Rochester area yesterday participating in a live forum at WXXI Studios along with state Board of Regents members Wade S. Norwood and T. Andrew Brown.

King said the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) need “tweaking” but there are positive aspects to the tests.  Some of the changes being considered, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle are, “testing options for special needs students, in Spanish language assessments and the phasing out of dual math exams for accelerated students..”

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has resources available to support the successful implementation of the CCLS in classrooms across New York state over the next several years.  They are located on the Engage NY website.  The Business Council supports these standards that will help prepare students for college and career readiness. The standards are internationally-benchmarked and evidence-based, and serve as a consistent set of expectations for what students need to learn and be able to do to succeed in college and in careers.

WNY Regional Council appoints new members

The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council announced three new members yesterday. Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc. President and CEO Matthew K. Enstice, Niagara Partnership President and CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, and Blackstone Business Enterprises Inc. President Michael Metzger filled vacancies on council.

The council will also hold a meeting today, August 20, in Niagara Falls at the Conference and Events Center Niagara Falls, Cascades Ballroom in Niagara Falls at 1 p.m.

The meeting is open to the public and will include an overview of the Consolidated Funding Application scoring process and 2013 progress report, work group updates, state agency resource team community outreach report and a Buffalo Billion update.

The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a public-private partnership composed of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils were created by the Cuomo administration to redefine the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for state resources.

For more information on the regional councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.


Marcellus Shale gas production soars in other states

Hydrofracking in Pennsylvania and West Virginia has made the Marcellus Shale the nation’s most productive gas field, according to a new report.

The Associated Press reports that Bentek, a Colorado company that analyzes energy trends, said 2013 production in Pennsylvania and West Virginia is up about 50 percent compared with last year. Figures for the pipelines that take gas out of the Marcellus show that in the first six months of the year, Pennsylvania produced about 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, with projections for a year-end total of about 3.2 trillion cubic feet.

That yearly number translates into the equivalent of about 550 million barrels of oil.

New York has delayed making a decision on hydrofracking for five years while the Department of Environmental Conservation studies the issue.

Kathryn Klaber, CEO of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, said in an email that the industry group expects “that activity will remain robust” since the necessary infrastructure is increasingly in place to process and move natural gas to market.”

The Business Council of New York State supports the approval of hydraulic fracturing that would boost New York’s economy and bring much needed jobs to upstate New York.

Empire City Casino’s casting call

Empire City Casino in Yonkers is looking to fill 50 openings and hoping to attract talent by holding a “casting call” on Thursday, July 18, 2013.  Similar to a job fair, managers and human resources representatives will interview candidates for positions ranging from bartending to cage cashiers.

Empire City Casino is the largest private employer in the City of Yonkers, has nearly 1,400 employees representing 14 unions. A $50 million expansion has created approximately 200 permanent positions within the casino to fill.

NanoCollege to get federal funding

The Times Union reports that The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering will get $8.3 million over the next five years through federal funding.  The Nanoelectronics Research Initiative is a computer chip research program.  The NanoCollege is one of three research centers that will share $25 million in funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Semiconductor Research Corp.

Casino plans revealed

Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council joined Governor Cuomo yesterday as he announced his plan for casinos in New York State.  Briccetti said the plan was ‘very consistent with the focus on tourism and upstate job growth and also the recognition that getting some of the tourist visitors to Upstate New York will positively benefit the upstate economy.”

Multiple news sources outlined the plan that calls for a referendum on the issue this fall.  Details include dividing upstate New York into six regions, with three proposals in each region competing for the winning bid, and new casinos in the Capital Region, the Catskills and the Southern Tier.


Governor Cuomo unveils resort gaming destination plan to bring tourism and jobs to upstate New York

Newsday: Cuomo wants casino referendum this fall

New York Times: wants voters to decide on full-scale casinos

Post Star: Indian casino compacts with state come under scrutiny

Times Herald Record:  Cuomo casino plan released

Governor to host first NYS Tourism Summit on May 8

Governor Cuomo announced yesterday that he will host New York State’s first ever Tourism Summit on May 8th.   In 2011, New York State welcomed 202 million international and domestic visitors – an 8.3 percent increase from the year before. These visitors contributed a record $53.9 billion in direct tourism spending, and generated $6.9 billion in state and local taxes.

The summit will include  industry leaders, business owners and other stakeholders to help ensure that the tourism industry continues to grow and create jobs in New York.

Read more about the Tourism Summit on Governor Cuomo’s website.