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November 15, 2013

Local experts debate job-luring strategies


“Companies will go to a place where they know they can grow,” Robert Geer, acting president of the State University Institute of Technology, said in his keynote address.

David Rooney, a past vice president of the Center for Economic Growth in Albany, said no single community can meet the needs of a manufacturer or company.

“Collaboration is absolutely essential,” Rooney said.

Steve Hyde, president and chief executive officer of Genesee County Economic Development Corp., encouraged efforts that focus initiatives.

“Don’t try to be all things to all people,” Hyde said. “Write a strategic plan.”

Seward said local assets include two hospitals, two colleges, a rail line, an interstate highway, agricultural resources and more, he said.

“We need to focus our attention on how we develop these assets,” Seward said. “It is time to move forward,”

Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller, in introductory remarks, agreed that the area has many assets. The summit provides opportunities to consider how the public and private sector can connect and improve economic development efforts, he said.

Reaching out to nanotechnology and other opportunities are among avenues to consider, as the greater Oneonta area develops as a hub, Miller said.

Sheehy was among about 20 people from the local community who rode an Oneonta Public Transit bus Wednesday on a tour of the town and city of Oneonta, officials said.

Otsego County’s assets include plentiful and high-quality water, Sheehy said. The area also has agricultural resources, which could be developed because people like to pay a lot of money for good, safe food, he said.

The local community has some good, quality manufacturers for its size, said Sheehy, who lives in Oregon. Aerospace, metals and capacitors are among other existing resources that may be developed, he said, and future development opportunities might include medical devices, equipment and manufacturing.

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