Regulars on Buffalo Rising might remember Accelerate Upstate, the 2011 economic development summit put on by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership as Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils were being formed. Accelerate Upstate 2.0 is being held tomorrow morning at Buffalo Niagara Convention Center and will be webcast on YNN.com to allow full access to stakeholders throughout NYS.
Accelerate Upstate was conceived as a means to focus on solutions rather than problems. 300 collaborators worked to develop the Accelerate Upstate Action Agenda, which served as a starting point for the WNY Regional Economic Development Council and its Strategy for Prosperity, which brought more than $100 million in economic development funding to Buffalo Niagara and established the region as one with its economic development “act together” in the eyes of Governor Cuomo. The announcement of the Buffalo $1 Billion soon followed, and the area’s economic development discussion has been significantly different ever since.
At Accelerate Upstate 2.0, the Partnership will revisit the progress of the last two years, and ask participants, ‘what’s working, and what’s not?’ Internationally-known political pollster (and Utica native) John Zogby was commissioned to poll several hundred employers from across Upstate on their perceptions of where NYS stands in 2013, and will present his findings at the conference.
Lieutenant Governor (and Rochester native) Bob Duffy will also be on hand and provide his take on the state of Upstate through an interview with YNN. James McConeghy, chief financial officer of Chenango County-headquartered and Upstate success story Chobani, Inc. will detail his organization’s experiences doing business in New York State. And to keep participants thinking forward, Joan Snyder Kuhl, expert on millennials in the workplace (and NYC resident), will present on the future of Upstate’s workforce.
The speakers will be interspersed with panel discussions on opportunities unique to Upstate New York:
· Accelerate Upstate Meets the Regional Councils will focus on the impact of the locally-vetted growth plans of the Regional Economic Development Councils, and see what the future holds for each REDC.
· One Day’s Trip: How can Upstate take advantage of its enviable market location? Will look at Upstate’s competitive advantages including freshwater, its border location, and proximity to major economic centers including Montreal, Toronto, and New York City.
Panel speakers include leaders from private companies, government agencies, the SUNY Levin and Manhattan Institutes, and the Canadian Consulate.
If you can’t&nbs
p;make it to Accelerate Upstate 2.0 in person, you can still join the conversation online at YNN.com. Partnership staff will be monitoring their facebook and twitteraccounts throughout the day to accept questions and input. Be sure to use hashtag #Accelerate.