Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council has named a new co-chair to replace former Monroe Community College President Anne Kress, who left for a position in Virginia earlier this year.

Denise Battles, president of SUNY Geneseo, will serve as co-chair, joining Bob Duffy, who is president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.  The council works to grow the economy in a nine-county area in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region.

Office of NY Governor Cuomo

The Rochester-Finger Lakes area will be receiving $86.5 million dollars in state aid for a variety of economic development projects.

The official announcement in this annual competition, the 8th time the money has been distributed this way, was done Tuesday in Albany, with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and New York State Economic Development Commissioner Howard Zemsky  announcing the awards.

Empire State Development

Members of a local group that helps determine how state aid is distributed among various economic development projects got to make their case Friday before some state officials.

Representatives of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council made the presentation at the Brighton campus of Monroe Community College.

Co-Chair of the council, Bob Duffy, who also heads up the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, says that a number of projects on their wish list involve the agriculture and food processing industry.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

A Colorado-based company is the winner of the first round of New York State’s Luminate NY competition.

The announcement was made Thursday at a demonstration event held at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.

Office of NY Gov. Cuomo

(WXXI News & AP) Communities in New York state are splitting $755 million in state economic development funding.

State officials announced the awards Wednesday at an event in Albany. The money will support hundreds of local economic development efforts, including job training, subsidies for expanding businesses and funding for community organizations.

This year's big winners include central New York, the Mohawk Valley, the Albany region, the mid-Hudson Valley and Long Island, which each received more than $80 million.

Amazon announced last week that it's looking for a home for its second headquarters. Could Rochester be in the running?

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy says yes, and he has already written two letters to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, touting Rochester's qualifications.

Amazon says it will invest $5 billion in "HQ2" and create 50,000 new jobs over the next two decades. Its requirements for a new home include a metropolitan area with at least a million people, a skilled labor force, and access to transit.

But what would it take to bring Amazon to Rochester? What kind of tax credits, workforce grants, and utility incentives would be required to woo the company here? And if Rochester delivered and won the bid, would it be worth it? Our guests weigh in. In studio:

What Governor Andrew Cuomo describes as the nation’s largest hydroponic commercial greenhouse will locate its operations at the Eastman Business Park.

Clearwater Organic Farms will build a 650,000 square foot facility that will produce fresh, locally grown, organic baby leaf greens year-round. The project is expected to create 137 new full-time jobs, most of which will be in packaging, shipping, receiving and warehousing. 55 of those jobs are reserved for veterans or those who are underemployed.

Bob Duffy recently called the state to make permanent its economic development council framework. "It works," Duffy wrote in the D&C. He says states have to adopt some business principles, like fostering competition, to be successful.

So we sit down with leaders of the Rochester Finger Lakes Council to discuss jobs, growth, and why they believe it's worth the investment. They respond to critics, and we get an update on what to expect from photonics. Our guests from the council:


Despite the country’s 4.6 percent unemployment rate, Rochester Regional Health, an organization which prides itself on a dedication to healthcare, education and job creation, has such an extraordinary need for nursing staff that it can't fill all of the vacancies.

To help address the growing demand for nurses and create a career path for people who aspire to join the profession, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council has awarded Rochester Regional Health a $1.1 million state grant. 

Connections: What Can We Do With $500 million?

Sep 1, 2015

What would you do with $500 million? The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council is competing for that state money, a taxpayer-infused boost for the winning regions. Three will be chosen; four will not. On Tuesday, we sit down with the people leading the effort to land the cash. What are the plans? What is the strategy? In studio:

  • Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester
  • Anne Kress, president of Monroe Community College
  • Mark Peterson, CEO of the Greater Rochester Enterprise