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December 3, 2012

Official: State grant aided 15 projects

A $200,000 state grant has helped the city of Oneonta boost entrepreneurship through 15 projects that are creating or retaining 19 jobs, Otsego County’s economic developer said.

The City of Oneonta Microenterprise Assistance Program has supported projects that create or retained low- to moderate-income jobs by providing grants to new and existing businesses with five or fewer employees, said Carolyn Lewis, economic developer who last week represented the city in giving a report to state officials, including the governor.

The $200,000 grant was awarded last year through the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council. In the first round of the governor’s 10 regional council initiative, the Mohawk Valley district was awarded $60.2 million in state resources through the Consolidated Funding Application process to support 59 projects.

Currently, 98 percent of the projects are under way, a media release from the governor’s office said last week. At completion, the Mohawk Valley region projects funded through 2011 CFA will create and retain more than 1,800 permanent, non-construction jobs and leverage more than $364 million in additional private sector and other investment, the release said.

The Mohawk Valley council, which includes Otsego and Schoharie counties, has submitted requests for funding this year, and announcements about the next round are expected later this month.

Last Wednesday, Lewis and Liz Rickard of the Career Opportunities in Rural Education Initiative, or CORE program, at Milford Central School, were among officials reporting on projects to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team at Griffiss Institute in Rome. The local school was awarded $125,000 to support CORE, which is establishing a local and virtual network of adult education courses and career advancement opportunities through partnerships.

The governor’s stop in Utica and Rome last week was the seventh visit in a REDC Progress Tour, a media release said.

“Last year, New York state changed the way state government approaches economic development by empowering individual regions to tailor plans that fit their own needs and assets — and it is producing results,” Cuomo said in the release. “We have seen the Mohawk Valley Regional Council turn their plan into real jobs and growth in their local economy.”

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