April 17 2018

President’s Message – April, 2018

CEG has much planned for the coming months, including our 22nd Annual Technology Awards at the Rivers Casino. We are accepting nominations until April 27. If you know any tech startups, innovators, trailblazers, economic winners and against-the-odds success stories, nominate them today. Submit your nominations here.

Registration for the June 28 Technology Awards will open soon.

CEG Activity Snap Shot

Below is a statistical summary of CEG’s activities between Jan. 1 and March 31:







New Investors

Businesses continue to get behind CEG’s “Accelerate” capital campaign to enhance our ability help the Capital Region achieve economic growth and prosperity throughout its eight counties. Businesses that became CEG investors in Q1 include:

  • Regeneron
  • Janney Montgomery Scott
  • Columbia Memorial Health
  • John W Danforth
  • ADP

Economic Scorecards

Overall the Capital Region had 17 positive-trending indicators – one fewer than the previous quarter. While the region’s general economic conditions and manufacturing sector made improvements, the retail trade industry’s woes and transportation declines (likely influenced by harsh winter weather) dragged down the region’s total score. Download the Q1 2018 CEG Economic Scorecards.

Creative Economy

In February, CEG and the Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy (ACE) embarked on a six-city, business roundtable tour to collect ideas from business and community leaders on how best to grow creative jobs and opportunities. Over the course of several weeks, we held 12 roundtables from Glens Falls to Hudson. Half of them were private meetings at which 120 community and business leaders shared their thoughts on advancing the region’s creative economy. The other half were public events attended by 600 people.

Watch WMHT Public Media’s video on the roundtables.

To illustrate the tremendous impact the creative economy has on the region, CEG and ACE worked with two economic development strategic planning consultants, Michael Kane and Stephen Michon, to perform a statistical analysis of the cluster. Kane and Michon applied methodologies they have used to assess the creative economies of metropolitan, suburban and rural communities across the country – while making adjustments to reflect the Capital Region’s unique features. For example, due to a high concentration of local farms that support farm-to-table restaurants, farmers markets and artisan food makers, the agriculture industry was included into the region’s creative economy.

ACE defined the creative economy as including “the enterprises and people involved in the origination, production and distribution of goods and services in which artistic and cultural content gives the product or service value in the marketplace.” The Capital Region’s creative cluster is comprised of 103, six-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, plus an additional industry of farm-to-table restaurants. In 2016, the region’s creative industries included more than 35,600 positions, with 49 percent of them being wage or salaried employees and the rest being freelancers. See ACE’s Capital Region Creative Economy Fact Sheet.

This initiative builds off the 2014 “Captivate” report, which CEG and the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region. CEG’s interest in and support for the creative economy is three-fold:

1. As an Innovate 518 operating partner and a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) center, CEG is already dedicated to supporting startups and manufacturing in the region’s creative industries.

2. The creative economy’s performing arts and heritage and preservation segments contribute to the Capital Region’s unmatched quality of life.

3. The size of the creative economy enhances CEG’s ability to demonstrate to companies interested in expanding that the Capital Region offers a wealth of the live-work-play options that their skilled workers want.

Based on feedback from the roundtables, the Saratoga Springs marketing firm Fingerpaint is developing a regional creative branding initiative. More on that initiative and other ACE initiatives will be announced in the coming months. Both communication of the creative economy message – which the economic analysis and roundtables achieved – and the creation of a regional creative brand were key recommendations from the “Captivate” report.

Girls in STEM

For a sixth consecutive year, CEG and its partners hosted a Girls in STEM at Hudson Valley Community College’s TEC-SMART campus on March 24. More than 250 students in grades four to eight had hands-on STEM fun. Thank you to our STEM sponsors and instructors as well as to AT&T, Hudson Valley Community College, Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, and other local partners. See pictures from the event in the Times Union, Troy Record and Saratogian.


CEG’s Business Growth Solutions (BGS) unit, a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) center, helped drive the following improvements in the region’s manufacturing sector:

  • Increased sales: $1,690,000
  • Jobs created: 19
  • Jobs retained: 82
  • Sales retained: $5,820,000
  • Cost savings: $1,905,976
  • Investment in workforce practices: $97,500
  • Investment in plant equipment: $900,000

We received an 8.75 out of 10 Net Promoter Score (NPS). NIST uses the NPS to “evaluate [MEP] center and program performance relative to this performance measure.”

Talent Connect

As of March 31, CEG’s Talent Connect program was serving 25 new professionals referred by our investors. Among them, 10 had spouses or partners whom Talent Connect was assisting with local career support and networking opportunities.

Talent Connect is ramping up its efforts to recruit talent from outside the Capital Region for investors within the eight-county region. In 2018, the program is scheduled to represent CEG investors at about 20 career fairs throughout the Northeast, compared to four the previous year. The next three major career fairs that Talent Connect staff will be attending include those at Fort Drum, Hartford, Connecticut and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Industry Attraction

CEG staff represented the region at seven trade shows and conferences during the first quarter. In March, we made our debut at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco to help Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute promote the region’s emerging video game development cluster. In preparation for this event, CEG conducted a study of the cluster and found it employs more than 350 workers. Other notable conferences we attended during the first quarter included SEMI ISS US, the Select USA Canadian International Auto Show and the American Manufacturing Summit. We identified several new promising project leads, especially at GDC and the Auto Show, that we are currently pursuing.

Manufacturing Talent Pipeline Projects

Funding for the Center for Economic Growth’s new Manufacturing Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP), a partnership with the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, was secured in the 2018-2019 state budget. This funding will enable CEG to continue providing administrative support to area manufacturers who want to strengthen their talent pipelines by training employees in highly skilled trades.

Last month, CEG Director of Economic Development Services Amanda Vitullo, CEG Business Growth Solutions Director Michael Lobsinger, and MACNY Director of Apprenticeship Martha Ponge, hosted an informational workshop on the MIAP program. Vitullo also presented on the program at the Greater Capital Region Workforce Coalition meeting. Overall, CEG is gaining support and buy-in from the manufacturing community, and should be well-postured to apply for sponsorship this summer.

Additionally, CEG made their final submission to Key Bank Foundation in an effort to secure funding for the Manufacturing Technology Pathways boot camp program offered by Hudson Valley Community College and the Certified Production Technician program offered by Schenectady County Community College. If the application is successful, funding will be secured early in the second quarter.

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