Members of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council hope Wednesday's announcement means a big step towards their goal of creating 50,000 jobs in five years.
Those jobs span nine counties from Orleans Genesee and Wyoming in the west to Seneca and Yates counties in the East. The Council is made up of business leaders and college leaders as well as state and local lawmakers.
The Regional Economic Development Councils under Gov. Andrew Cuomo represent a new approach to funding job creating programs and projects.
This year, in the Finger Lakes region, that means $4 for the Midtown Tower project in downtown Rochester and another $4 million for College Town on Mount Hope Avenue near the region's largest employer at the University of Rochester.
The University of Rochester's partnership with IBM on a new "Super Computer" project received a $5 million in funding. R.I.T.'s Golisano Institute for Sustainability was also fully funded to the tune of $5 million.
Perhaps most significantly is this region's top priority, the Eastman Business Park, formally known as Kodak Park, received no funding in this round of awards.
Members of the Finger Lakes Council tell 13WHAM News they are confident the Eastman Business Park will receive the state's full support once a project and specific plan for the future is clearly defined. The uncertainty of Kodak is likely one reason why no money was awarded this time around.
R.I.T. Golisano Institute For Sustainability
One example of how the state and regional councils hope these investments turn into jobs can be found on the R.I.T. campus. The Golisano Institute For Sustainability was fully funded at $5 million.
The building on campus is nearly complete and will be as energy-efficient as any building you can imagine. But when some 100 graduate and doctorate students begin their studies in the spring they'll be equipped with labs and tools funded in part by that $5 million from Albany.
"Directly today's announcement really enhances our ability to help companies develop products that have a lower environmental footprint but are also very competitive in the global marketplace," said Paul Stiebitz of the Golisano Institute of Sustainability.
At R.I.T. investments in programs like this have already resulted in local jobs.
"We're a partner in the Clean Energy Incubator which just graduated six companies and alone account for more than 200 employees in the local area," Stiebitz said.
"This is all about job creation," R.I.T. President Bill Destler said. "If R.I.T. spends this money and it doesn't result in new jobs new companies that will grow and settle in the region than shame on us. And you can come and call us later and tell us we didn't do our job."