MASSENA -- The New York Power Authority is providing up to $1 million in new funding to hire a firm to help attract more businesses and industry to St. Lawrence County.
The Power Authority released a Request for Proposals with a commitment of up to $1 million to help attract businesses and manufacturers from around the world.
“This RFP puts us one step closer to promoting the North Country globally and realizing the benefits of the recommendations laid out in our St. Lawrence Economic Development Study,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “It’s critical that we can demonstrate to businesses and manufacturers the benefits of relocating to the North Country.”
Responses to the RFP are due by April 4, at which point county economic development officials, in collaboration with NYPA, will review the proposals and select a firm no later than June 15. The firm’s search will be completed within nine months and performance bonuses will be built in to encourage the best results.
“The North Country has a tremendous amount to offer businesses and manufacturers,” said Judge Eugene Nicandri, NYPA trustee and Massena resident. “I’m highly optimistic that we’ll find the right firm to conduct this critically important search to develop the St. Lawrence economy.”
The Power Authority’s St. Lawrence County Economic Development Study, developed by McKinsey & Co. in December 2015, identifies opportunities for growth and action steps to bolster the North Country economy.
According to the release, it is estimated that the strategies outlined in the study could create as many as 1,900 jobs and up to $190 million in new economic activity by 2020 in St. Lawrence County.
Local Officials React
“This RFP is a further demonstration of the State’s commitment to bring economic development activity to St. Lawrence County,” said Patrick J. Kelly, CEO of the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency. “With our low-cost and renewable energy, a strategic location with two border crossings, an outstanding labor force and the combined efforts of our local, regional and state level development partners, there’s never been a better time to promote St. Lawrence County. We are very excited to work with NYPA on this initiative.”
“The economic development study has been a valuable tool as we and our partners look to promote a comprehensive strategy to attract investment and jobs in the region.” Massena Town Supervisor and LGTF Chair Joseph D. Gray said. “I'm eager to now put it to use to advance business development and job creation in the river communities and St. Lawrence County.”
“The synergy between the North Country Regional Economic Development Council’s progress on the regional vision and the St. Lawrence County Economic Development Strategic Plan developed in the last year offers a dynamic opportunity for the right global search firm to attract business to St. Lawrence County,” said Anthony G. Collins, president of Clarkson University and co-chair of the NCREDC. “With the appeal of low-cost power, a talented work force and gateways to international markets, the Governor and our economic development teams recognize that the time is now to make this kind of strategic investment.”
“Convincing new industries to bring jobs and economic opportunities to the people of the North Country has been my top priority as a member of the State Senate,” said State Senator Patty Ritchie. “With talented people who are ready to work, low-cost power, world-class colleges and more, St. Lawrence County has so many assets that make it attractive to businesses looking for a new place to locate. I’m hopeful that with this important next step, we can move closer to our goal of transforming our economy.”
“This is an important step forward in our work to bring good-paying jobs to our area,” Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne said. “The exposure the selected firm will bring to our region will demonstrate that we have resources necessary to compete with any other site in the world. I look forward to working closely with the selected firm so they can show potential developers the support this effort has from all levels of government—the executive branch, the state legislature, county government and local governments.”
“It is encouraging that a forward-looking economic development strategy for progress in St. Lawrence County has been identified, and I am hopeful this new funding will help highlight all of the great assets the North Country has to offer,” said State Senator Joseph Griffo. “This will provide St. Lawrence County an opportunity to identify and attract new businesses and manufacturers to the area that would have the potential to make the most of the region by creating jobs and revitalizing the economy.”
A summary of the study can be viewed at: https://www.nypa.gov/STLCountyReport1221.pdf.