Round VII Regional Economic Development Council Competition Announced
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched Round VII of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative, officially kicking off the annual competition for more than $800 million in state economic development resources. The Consolidated Funding Application will open to applicants on Monday, May 1, 2017, enabling businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits and members of the public to begin applying, through a single application, for assistance from dozens of state programs for projects that create jobs and help to revitalize communities.
"The Regional Economic Development Councils have successfully brought local communities together like never before, spurring economic growth from the ground up and creating jobs across New York," Governor Cuomo said. "With the seventh round of the REDC awards, the state will continue its partnership with local governments and community leaders – making smart investments in our cities, towns and villages to give the Regional Councils the tools needed to build their communities for years to come."
The REDC process has transformed New York State government’s approach to economic development, creating a statewide framework for bottom-up economic growth and streamlining the application process for state funding. Since 2011, the first year of the initiative, over $4.6 billion has been awarded to more than 5,200 projects that are projected to create and retain more than 210,000 jobs statewide.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils said, "By empowering the people who know their communities the best, the Governor has transformed this state's economic development strategy into one that is not only successful, but is built to last. As the Chair of the Regional Councils, I have seen proof that this investment in innovation and technology has revitalized our economy and there is a new confidence among local elected officials. Projects initiated with REDC funding are redeveloping our downtowns, retaining and expanding businesses, and rebuilding our infrastructure for the 21st Century.
Through six rounds of the REDC competition:
- Western New York REDC has delivered $418.4 million for 551 projects;
- Finger Lakes REDC has delivered $506.1 million for 605 projects;
- Southern Tier REDC has delivered $480.6 million for 471 projects;
- Central New York REDC has delivered $529.1 million for 505 projects;
- Mohawk Valley REDC has delivered $444.1 million for 462 projects;
- North Country REDC has delivered $484.6 million for 456 projects;
- Capital Region REDC has delivered $436.9 million for 608 projects;
- Mid-Hudson REDC has delivered $475.9 million for 574 projects;
- New York City REDC has delivered $400.4 million for 452 projects; and
- Long Island REDC has delivered $486.5 million for 590 projects.
Round VII of the REDC initiative will award more than $800 million in state resources across all 10 regions, including up to $225 million in performance-based grants and tax credits from Empire State Development, and approximately $575 million from two dozen state agency programs.
Regional Council priorities in 2017 include:
- Identifying projects for the state’s burgeoning life sciences cluster;
- Identifying workforce development strategies, including collaboration with industry and educational institutions;
- Implementing strategies through the project pipeline; and
- Measuring the performance and progress of the strategic plan.
To encourage the implementation of the REDCs’ strategic plans and to continue to motivate investment opportunities and job creation, in 2017 the Regional Councils will compete for up to $150 million in capital grants and $75 million in Excelsior tax credits for projects identified by the Regional Councils as regional priorities in their communities.
By incentivizing the implementation of the strategic plans, the REDCs – composed of leaders from business, educational institutions, local governments, not-for-profit groups and other stakeholders – are further motivated to work together to accomplish the regional vision. The competition emphasizes performance and action to implement strategies, which encourages cooperation among the REDCs and representatives of the community that is critical to achieving successful economic development.
In 2017, all 10 regions will be competing for designation as a “Top Performer,” of which five will be selected and receive awards of up to $20 million in grant funds, while the remaining five regions, identified as Regional Awardees, will receive up to $10 million in grant funds.
The 2017 REDC Guidebook and list of available resources can be found here. The CFA will open to applicants on Monday, May 1, and the deadline for applications is Friday, July 28, 2017 at 4 p.m. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. Access the CFA.
New aspects of the REDC competition in 2017 include:
Closing the Skills Gap
In recent years, the skills gap has gained significant attention across the United States and New York State is no exception. Numerous studies have found that while science, technology, engineering, and math skills gaps are a large part of the challenge, they are by no means the only industries affected. Businesses from all industries cite the skills gap as a significant obstacle to business expansion efforts and it has been identified as a drag on overall business productivity.
The REDCs are being asked to survey both industries and educational institutions in their region to identify skills gaps, as well as the programmatic availability of workforce training opportunities in high schools, community colleges, and universities. The findings of the survey will be incorporated into this year’s Annual Report, along with recommended strategies for bridging the gaps identified. The Regional Councils will work with members of the Regional Community College Councils on this initiative.
About the Consolidated Funding Application
As part of Governor Cuomo’s efforts to improve the state’s economic development model, a NYS Consolidated Funding Application was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA process marks a fundamental shift in the way state resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs. The CFA serves as the single entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects use the CFA as a support mechanism to access multiple state funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier, and more productive. Access the CFA.
About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo's approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined 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. After six rounds of the REDC process, over $4.6 billion has been awarded to job creation and community development projects consistent with each regions strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 210,000 jobs.