Economic trends favor urban centers with a high concentration of talent, like New York City. How can places in their orbit, like the upper Hudson Valley, benefit?
The George Washington School on Wall Street in Kingston was the venue last Friday evening and Saturday for what its organizers termed an unconference. An audience of 200 showed up for “Surviving the Future: Connection and Community in Unstable Times,” billed as both a summit and a progress report on the sustained efforts of the past few years to organize radical political, economic and cultural consciousness-raising in and around Kingston.
Banking variety remains alive and well in Ulster County. What most local people don’t seem to realize is that the same can’t be said of most places in this country.
With the new Office of Economic Development, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan wants to emphasize the importance of a new separate department and other measures to support his initiative “to grow and diversify our economy for all.” How well it will succeed will depend on the smarts, skills and inspiration breathed into it by its participants.
Ulster County executive Pat Ryan believes “the traditional approach to economic development alone will not drive the county’s success for the future.” To that end, last month he formed a working group called Ulster 2040 of what he termed “county business movers and shakers.” That diverse twelve-person group was given nine months to come up with a plan “to align our county with our natural, economic and social strengths, and to make the necessary investments to be successful in these key areas.” Easier said than done.
The all-day conference on migration and mental health at SUNY New Paltz this Friday, October 11, is coming at an opportune time. Though American history records several eras when conflict raged over immigrants and immigration, there have been few more virulent than what’s going on now.
Newly released bank data for Ulster County shows that the trend toward larger percentage gains in deposits for local and small regional banks than for the national banks is continuing.
Though the ribbon-cutting for the almost 19,500-square-foot Engineering Innovation Hub on the SUNY New Paltz campus September 17 had been widely anticipated, a press release announcing that Central Hudson, which had already granted the manufacturing center $250,000 over three years, was kicking in another $200,000 to the project (a $50,000 match has already been contributed by local companies) added further support for the event.
After more than 90 days in office, Ulster County executive Pat Ryan last week has finally laid some of his cards on the table in regard to economic development.
In 2011 New Paltz farmer Paul Alward, Bywater Bistro proprietor Sam Ullman and self-described “health nut” Joe Katona had teamed up with financier John Fitzgibbons to found Hudson Valley Harvest. They wanted the Hudson Valley to develop the kind of brand identity and degree of market organization in order to compete successfully with giant non-local producers and distributors. Hudson Valley Harvest has operated year-round since then from its leased headquarters in TechCity in the Town of Ulster.