Tag Archives: The Business Council

Capital Region leaders say growing skills gap will leave more students unprepared for jobs

Workforce development has been one of The Business Council’s leading concerns as more and more of it members report a shortage of workers with skills to fill high-skill jobs. On its Education and Workforce Development committee webpage, The Business Council wrote about the importance of training individuals in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — “[it’s] critical if we want to stay competitive in the global economy. The Business Council supports initiatives that foster the development of a 21st century workforce, ensure that students are well prepared for entrance into college and career, and strengthen partnerships between private-sector companies, colleges and local school districts.”

In a report in the Times Union, Eric Anderson cited a report by America’s Edge, “a business-supported organization that advocates investments in education, they warned that the state will eventually face a shortage of 350,000 workers with the skills to fill so-called “middle-skill” jobs, those that require training beyond high school but not a bachelor’s degree.”

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The Business Council welcomes new members

MedicalSocietyofstateofNewYorkThe Medical Society of the State of New York represents approximately 30,000 licensed physicians, medical residents, and medical students in New York State.  MSSNY is a non-profit organization committed to representing the medical profession as a whole and advocating health related rights, responsibilities and issues. MSSNY strives to promote and maintain high standards in medical education and in the practice of medicine in an effort to ensure that quality medical care is available to the public. http://www.mssny.org

CTGLogoCTG develops innovative IT solutions and services to address the business needs and challenges in several higher-growth industries including healthcare, energy, and technology services. They are a leading provider of IT and business consulting solutions to the healthcare market, as well as managed services IT staffing for major technology companies and large corporations. http://www.ctg.com

StandardSolarStandard Solar provides solar electric solution and have completed over 1000 residential and commercial projects installed to date and are one of the most experienced solar companies in the country.  They employ the most NABCEP certified engineers, installers, and electricians to ensure the utmost in our dedication and quality of work. http://www.standardsolar.com

hilliard_logoThe Hilliard Corp. is a World Leader In Motion Control And Filtration Technology and is located in Elmira, NY Since 1905. The Hilliard Corporation offers a broad line of motion control products, oil filtration and reclaiming equipment, starters for industrial gas, diesel engines and gas turbines, and plate and frame filter presses used in the food and beverage industry. http://www.hilliardcorp.com

Thank you all, for joining The Business Council!

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The Business Council issues statement on Dryden Appellate Division decision on hydrofracking

The state Appellate Division turned aside an appeal from Norse Energy Corporation that challenged the Town of Dryden’s use of its zoning laws to ban fracking. Norse Energy argued that the ban violates the state’s supremacy to regulate the DrydenLocationoil and gas industry under the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law, wrote Casey Seiler of the Times Union. Shortly after the decision, The Business Council released a statement.

“The Business Council’s position is unchanged. We have been a steadfast supporter of shale development. The economic opportunities and potential jobs created by natural gas development would bring a lasting positive impact to the region and the state, and we believe that scientific and technical reviews will prove the case for moving forward with permits in New York State.  Regardless of the final court outcome on this case, we oppose statutory prohibitions on the state or local level, as contrary to sound economic, energy and environmental policy.”

Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

Take Action LogoCreate Jobs, Strengthen the Economy. Say Yes to Natural Gas Development

As the rest of the nation looks for new opportunities to create jobs and lower America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy, New York is still working to create a balanced approach to shale development. After four years of extensive study, research and hearings, the state should now move forward with safe and responsible shale gas development. The State must bring to a close its review and allow the people of New York to directly benefit from America’s new energy future.

Click here to take action by sending a letter in support of natural gas development to lawmakers.

Buffalo News: New York minimum-wage law sparks controversy over state subsidy

Tom Precious, Buffalo News reporter, spoke with Ken Pokalsky, vice president of government affairs at The Business Council, and others about the minimum wage provisions that, according to Precious, led to what some tax experts are saying is a first in the United States: “New York taxpayers, not employers, will cover the higher payroll costs associated with raising the minimum wage to $8 for a select group of employees – teenagers between 16 and 19 years old,” wrote Precious.

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Chamber president eager to hear from The Business Council

Todd TranumHere’s a very good preview of The Business Council’s upcoming Legislative Briefing in Jamestown Friday. Dennis Phillips of The Post-Journal posted the story:

Workforce, economic development and fiscal reform are just a few of the topics The Business Council will be discussing during a regional briefing Friday.

Todd Tranum, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association president and chief executive officer, is anticipating the discussion taking place at Roberto’s Restaurant, 2 E. Second St., Jamestown. Ken Pokalsky, The Business Council vice president of government affairs, will lead an overview on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget, and will outline legislative priorities for The Business Council this year. Pokalsky has served on a number of state advisory panels and is a member of the state’s Business Taxpayer Advisory Committee. He is also The Business Council’s liaison with Empire State Development Corporation and the Department of Taxation.

Tranum said he is interested in hearing about education in workforce development and economic develoment when it comes to energy.

”These are key issues we are involved in,” he said. ”Obviously we have a strong interest and strong support in the investment NRG has proposed making at its Dunkirk facility. The discussion kind of ties into the energy superhighway, and how that ties into the NRG facility.”

NRG Energy wants to convert the Dunkirk 625-megawatt coal facility to a natural gas-powered, combined-cycle plant, with the generating capacity of approximately 600 megawatts. The $700 million project would be funded by NRG.

Tranum said fiscal reform with mandate relief is another issue affecting local municipalities that needs to be addressed.

”We know some of the fiscal pressures our local governments and schools are under,” he said. ”I’m interested in hearing more about The Business Council’s objectives on mandate relief.”

The Affordable Care Act and health care reform is another topic Tranum wants discussed Friday. The chamber has a business health insurance assistance program, which is similar to the new health insurance exchange program that will soon be in place.

”We started (the program) more than a year ago to help all businesses, not just our members, in Chautauqua County to better understand the Affordable Care Act, and the implications it will have on their business when it comes to health insurance,” he said.

Tranum said The Business Council annually schedules regional briefings on their agenda and the governor’s budget. However, the briefing doesn’t always take place locally.

”They do regional outreach when they present their annual legislative agenda. This year, through some discussion we had with them, they were interested in coming to Chautauqua County,” Tranum said. ”I think (the briefing) helps raise awareness of some of the critical issues facing the business community, and how those issues interlink with various legislation and laws in Albany.”

According to a news release from The Business Council, attendees to the briefing will be provided detailed analysis of Cuomo’s budget, specifically how it closes a $1 billion plus spending-gap with no new taxes or fees, which also provides additional mandate relief. The Business Council will also give an overview of the governor’s proposals to reduce the cost of major employer mandates including the workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance programs.

The informative session will be held from 9-10:30 a.m. People can register through The Business Council’s website at www.bcnys.org/inside/registration/index.cfm#regionalbriefings.

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Busy political Tuesday on tap for NY businesses

The Business Council will be among many business groups descending on the Capitol to urge Governor Cuomo and the legislature to reform New York’s Scaffold law. Click here to learn more.

Adam Sichko of The Business Review adds more to the story:

Tomorrow’s political scene has some significance for businesses in New York, whether it’s the action at the state Capitol in Albany or the content of President Obama‘s State of the Union speech.

The day begins with about 150 business lobbyists and executives convening in a meeting room off the Empire State Plaza concourse. Their mission: Push a bipartisan bill that would soften the state’s scaffold law, which determines legal (and financial) liability for a number of work-site injuries.

Business groups say the law is chasing insurers out of the state, driving up premiums. In a ruling last year, the state’s highest court called the scaffold law “one of the most frequent sources of litigation in the New York courts” and then added:As we have long held, it imposes liability even on contractors and owners who had nothing to do with the plaintiff’s accident; and where a violation of the statute has caused injury, any fault by the plaintiff contributing to that injury is irrelevant.”

The free lobbying event is hosted by Associated General Contractors of New York State, The Business Council of New York State Inc., and the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York State.

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18-a Roundup: Business Council in the News

Heather Briccetti at Capitol

The Business Council joined State Senate Republicans to urge Governor Cuomo to remove from his proposed budget an extension of the one percent utility tax surcharge. Several publications picked up the story. Here are some of them.

The Wall Street Journal: GOP senators want utility tax surcharge dropped

The Citizen (Auburn): Senate GOP to Cuomo: Drop utility tax extension from budget

Fox 44 News: GOP senators want utility tax surcharge dropped

Times-Post (Indiana): NY Senate Republicans want utility tax surcharge extension to expire as scheduled


Cuomo builds proposed budget with cuts, gambling and fees

Danny Hakim and Thomas Kaplan wrote the following for The New York Times. The Business Council’s response to the budget follows:

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed on Tuesday to balance the state budget with a combination of spending cuts, gambling revenue, and new or extended taxes and fees.

Over all, the proposed $142.6 billion budget represents a 5.3 percent increase over the current one, but much of the increase will be covered by federal money provided for the recovery from Hurricane Sandy and the enactment of the health care law championed by President Obama. The increase in state operating funds would be held to 1.6 percent, if the Legislature approves the governor’s plan.

The budget does not offer increased aid or sweeping policy changes to benefit the state’s ailing upstate cities, drawing criticism from even a close ally. Instead, the governor has proposed a tax to help cities restructure their finances and a new plan that would allow municipalities to push their pension costs into the future, the second such plan the state has produced in the last half-decade.

“See, the answer cannot be, my friends, that every municipality in the state that has a financial problem, they’re going to come to Albany and ask for a check,” Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a speech to the Legislature on Tuesday. “We don’t have the money.”

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Click here to read The Business Council’s statement.