Foundation joins team to win $500-million Upstate Revitalization Fund

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente announced a plan to win $500 million through the Upstate Revitalization Fund that if won will be invested into job development, new industry and the revitalization of main streets in the regions towns and villages in the Mohawk Valley.  A powerful team has been formed to implement a vision, strategy and action plan for our region.

The Partners

The Foundation’s newly appointed President and CEO Alicia Dicks
Rob Esche, Utica Comets President and Mohawk Valley Garden CEO
Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation CEO
Steve DiMeo, Mohawk Valley EDGE President
Nick Matt, Chairman and CEO Matt Brewing Co.

“We are assembling this community’s best and brightest to see this to the finish line,” Picente said Tuesday at the State of the County address at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre. “… (the team) will lead a contingent of regional business, cultural, tourism, economic development and agricultural partners that Upstate will see.”

The Goals

The project – MV500 – will work toward three goals:

1. Creating a vision for the Upstate Revitalization Fund.
2. Developing a strategy that will facilitate the vision.
3. Defining the action steps needed to see the vision through.

The Teams

Three teams will work toward these goals.

  • The Vision Team: representatives from each county will use information, research, interviews and data to create a vibrant and connective vision for the region.
  • The Strategy Team: using the vision team’s framework, the strategy team will develop a three-pronged plan to connect the region’s bright spots.Their tasks:
    a. Triangulate the region so the tourism in Cooperstown benefits and relates to the nano-technology in Utica.
    b. Connect cybersecurity initiatives in Rome to livable city transformations in Utica and Johnstown.
    c. Showcase, market and steer agri-business in Herkimer.
  • The Action Team: the team will create a multimedia presentation and display of what the region will look like when this plan is implemented with the winning funds.

The team begins this four-month process by interviewing more than 300 of our community members. They will convene, strategize, design and collaborate from The Community Foundation at 2608 Genesee St.

More About the Competition

  • Presented as part of the governor’s 2015 Opportunity Agenda in January.
  • Designed to help continue to restore economic opportunity in regions across upstate New York.
  • Replicates the successful Buffalo Billion initiative, focused on jumpstarting the economy of the entire Western New York region.
  • The proposed competition uses the Buffalo Billion’s proven model to deliver results and drive community revitalization, job growth and population sustainability.
  • Projects exhibiting region-wide impact will be made a priority.
  • Projects should focus on strengthening critical infrastructure, revitalizing communities, bolstering workforce development, growing tourism and improving quality of life.
  • The competition will combine the expertise and structure of the Regional Economic Development Councils with successful elements of Western New York’s Buffalo Billion to develop regional investment plans that identify existing assets, highlight needs and recommend areas of opportunity.
  • Seven regions are eligible to compete for one of three $500 million upstate revitalization funds: Mid-Hudson, Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, North Country, Southern Tier and Finger Lakes.