The Buffalo Billion committed to help develop Western New York's economy is taking shape. As YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti tells us, Governor Andrew Cuomo was in town Tuesday to hear the plan for his investment.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — It's a plan to make the most of the largest single investment Governor Cuomo's made since taking office.
Tuesday, the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council laid out its Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan.
"We're laying the foundation for a really good economic future and that's really what this is all about. Jobs, jobs jobs. New York State open for business and Western New York open for business," said Howard Zemsky, co-chair of the council.
The plan focuses on three sectors the council says will have the greatest opportunity to provide jobs and wealth creation in the region: Advanced Manufacturing, Health and Life Sciences, and Tourism.
The plan goes on to recommend six "investable" initiatives, including a center for manufacturing innovation, a Buffalo Niagara Tourism Program, and a breakthrough business challenge.
Zemsky said, "We wanted to reflect the holistic approach to economic development, focus on these three sectors that are so important to our economy, and then focus on what we call the enablers."
Governor Cuomo says the work that's been done is extraordinary. And while it's been questioned by other regions in New York, he says it's an investment he's proud of.
"I've said to the taxpayers all across the state, we're going to get that billion dollars back and dividends. WNY has not had the kind of investment and energy that it needs. It's a much stronger asset and has a much stronger potential than we have ever developed before," said Cuomo.
And that potential is already being developed.
Governor Cuomo announced a public private partnership with Albany Molecular Research Inc. or AMRI Tuesday, which the state has secured an agreement with.
The state is investing $50 million in state of the art biomedical research equipment and facilities for a new drug discovery research and development center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
Governor Cuomo says AMRI will invest $200 million and the effort will create 250 jobs.
"That is exactly the formula we've been talking about, which is the academic university, coming up with the ideas, transferring them to commercial application and growing business," said Cuomo.
Zemsky says once the governor has had time to reflect on the strategies in the investment plan, they'll start to prioritize and implement them.