President’s Message – May, 2020
The Capital Region’s economy is now reopening after being largely shutdown for the last two months. The Center for Economic Growth responded to the shutdown by emerging as what the Rockefeller Institute of Government has called an Economic First Responder. And now as the regional economy reopens, we will pivot again to become a recovery resource.
In the past few weeks we’ve launched with KeyBank a $150,000 Small Business Stabilization Fund for minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs). We’ve assisted the Chief Executives Network for Manufacturing (CEN) in launching the Capital Region Manufacturing Re-Start Program, a free program that will help local manufacturers restart operations and enhance worker safety on shop floors. The support we provided to Precision Valve & Automation (PVA) in March helped it weeks later receive expedited U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its emergency ventilator. After that PVA received a $100,000 FuzeHub grant. Through a partnership with the Tech Valley Center of Gravity and Benet Laboratories at the Watervliet Arsenal, CEG has support the production of 500 face shields.
We launched a seven-part COVID-19 webinar series to help Capital Region businesses navigate the shutdown and prepare for the recovery, covering issues such as disaster planning, sales strategies, supply chain issues and implicit bias. At the same time our Talent Connect and Veteran Connect Center staff are working to assist CEG investors find talent and aid unemployed skilled workers regain employment. See our Careers webpage for employers who are still hiring in the region. We’ve also opened our JobPath job search tool to all workers in the Capital Region as well as the job assistance services of our Veteran Concierge.
Our Business Growth Solutions team continues to work on the front lines with manufacturers. By the end of Q1 BGS had engaged 67 manufacturing and startup companies, completed 13 manufacturing projects/events, and had 15 ongoing projects going into Q2. Projects engagement include, ISO, FDA, Lean, Sandler Training, Value Prop, Product Design, and Commercialization with a range of companies.
Looking forward, CEG is preparing to launch more webinars and programs to help business recover from the pandemic. We are continuing to pursue leads to attract new businesses to the region and grow our tech clusters, especially in the offshore wind, semiconductor, life sciences and digital gaming industries. There is a movement to re-shore vital manufacturing industries and we are positioning the region to be ahead of the curve. We are continuing to develop the region’s talent pipeline so our businesses can compete on the global level. The Capital Region economy is beginning to turn the corner. As we adapt to the new normal, CEG’s core mission will be the same. We will be working to help create jobs and foster inclusive economic growth. #CapitalRegionResilience
Andrew Kennedy, President & CEO