Newsday’s Dec. 23 editorial, “Regional projects need to be bigger,” misses the role of smaller projects in the big picture of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council Initiative.
During the past six years, the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council has secured $480 million in state assistance to support approximately 500 projects and create 7,500 jobs on Long Island.
This funding has backed both large and small projects; most important, the projects all align with the local economic development strategic plan, designed in 2011 and updated each year. The most recent 2016 progress report can be found at regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/long-island.
We are committed to promoting life sciences and biotech, such as the Feinstein Institute’s research into using technology to treat paralysis and Stony Brook University’s preclinical screening center, which will advance the university’s research goals and promote the region as a center of cutting-edge discovery.
We also support legacy industries such as fishing, agriculture and manufacturing. This year we helped upgrade critical equipment for commercial fishing companies. Also, the Riverhead East End Market will serve local farms and commercial kitchens.
Creating walkable, transit-oriented downtowns is also a priority. We continue to support Wyandanch Rising with infrastructure upgrades and a new, mixed-use development.
To advance our workforce development goals, we are also supporting Veterans Resource Centers at Suffolk County Community College.
These investments improve people’s lives and strengthen Long Island’s economy.
Howard Zemsky, Albany
Editor’s note: The writer is president, chief executive and commissioner of Empire State Developement Corp., the economic development arm of New York State.