For Release — September 25, 2013
The Business Council announces Upstate Futurist Project
Policy arm of The Business Council will collaborate with business, industry, policy experts and government to reverse engineer upstate for economic growth
ALBANY, N.Y.—The Business Council of New York State, Inc. will launch The Upstate Futurist Project to revitalize the upstate New York economy.
The Upstate Futurist Project focuses on creating solutions to the most pressing issues hindering economic development and business growth in upstate New York and on leveraging the region's strengths to make upstate New York economically vibrant.
"The Upstate Futurist Project will bring New York's leading businesses, industry and policy experts, and stakeholders together to propose and implement lasting solutions to the problems that face New York's economy. We already know we need a vibrant upstate economy, but creating a sustainable environment to do so is what we lack. Through The Upstate Futurist Project, we'll reverse engineer the business climate to create the change we need in tax and energy policy, education and the regulatory environment," said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
Carl Schramm, Ph.D., J.D, university professor at Syracuse University and an expert in entrepreneurship and innovation, launched the initiative at The Business Council's 13th Annual Meeting at The Sagamore Resort on Lake George.
Schramm said, "State government's 'fixes' for the state's economy, the various programs intended to help the economy grow, all have one characteristic in common. They focus on programs and projects, often faddish ideas, drawn from other places where they are alleged to have worked. If New York's economy is to grow, it has to focus on the achievement of objectives -- a growing population, reductions in poverty, a population getting younger on average -- not older, improved fact-based learning in the state's schools, expanding private sector employment, and rising household incomes. Every program must be judged as to its success or failure in advancing the ball on these objectives."
The Business Council through its research arm, The Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc. will create a vision that addresses broad based regulatory reform that reduces direct costs, provides mandate and tax relief, and creates the strategic public investments in education and infrastructure necessary to develop sustainable economic growth.
Among the long-term goals the plan will address:
- Innovation economy – Encouraging innovation is necessary for a long-term economic plan. Removing barriers to commercialization, research and development and manufacturing are key factors to future job growth.
- Cost of Doing Business – Removing tax burdens, addressing municipal financial stress and public pension and retiree health costs, improving the tax climate as well as reducing other business costs are imperative to moving forward. New York is ranked in last place by the Tax Foundation for tax climate, and this has contributed to slow economic growth in New York, especially upstate.
- Unfunded Mandates – Mandate relief and regulatory reform are essential for New York to create an environment where businesses can thrive and to promote economic growth.
- Education Reform – Recent initiatives focusing on Common Core standards, P-TECH schools and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills are a good start, but more can be done to bridge the gap between education and the skills needed in the workforce.