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Governor Cuomo Creates Working Group to Carry Out Mohawk Valley 'Capital for a Day' Agenda

$250,000 to Repair Homes in Gloversville and $50,000 to Help Refugee Teens Enter Workforce

October 16, 2015 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today convened the first meeting of a new working group established to carry out the Mohawk Valley Capital for a Day 31-point agenda. The Governor also announced that the state has finalized a $250,000 contract to assist homeowners in the City of Gloversville with essential home repairs, preserving approximately 30 affordable units in the Mohawk Valley, and $50,000 to fund an educational program for young adult refugees.

“From helping residents receive the resources necessary to complete essential home repairs, to helping our youth find employment opportunities, we are strengthening communities and building a brighter future for the Mohawk Valley,” Governor Cuomo said. “This outgrowth of the Capital for a Day initiative is one more way that we're working to keep this region's economic momentum moving forward.”

“The towns and cities in the Mohawk Valley face many of the same challenges we see elsewhere around the State, but require unique solutions and dedicated resources,” said New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner James S. Rubin. “When we were here in August, Governor Cuomo made a promise to the City of Gloversville that I am proud to say HCR has delivered on today – a $250,000 grant to the Gloversville Housing & Neighborhood Improvement Corporation to make vital repairs to 23 homes that will help keep their owners -- many of whom are seniors on fixed incomes – in their homes, and keep those homes livable. The State has made significant investments in vital communities in and around the Valley, and intends to continue these efforts – building on progress we’ve made and creating new opportunities as we go.”

The $250,000 grant through New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) carried out by the Gloversville Housing & Neighborhood Improvement Corporation will help homeowners and their tenants in the Mohawk Valley, most of them vulnerable seniors, undertake essential repairs including roof, furnace, or window replacement, allowing them to continue living in their homes.

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has signed a contract with the Utica School District to enhance services to newly arriving 16 to 21 year old refugees in the Mohawk Valley. The school district will use $50,000 in State funding to help refugee teens and young adults prepare to enter the workforce, by establishing an enhanced educational program.

The new program component addresses serious and wide-ranging issues confronting refugee teens and young adults to ensure they are prepared for the world of work. It is based on a curriculum that has a proven track record of empowering youth to become self-sufficient adults.

The program focuses on high school aged students who would benefit from a non-traditional approach, and who need assistance addressing the wide-ranging issues facing newly arriving refugees. It provides teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to make healthy choices that can lead to social and economic self-sufficiency.

The new program will supplement an existing Refugee School Impact Program in Utica that helps newly arriving refugee school-aged children adapt to western educational systems. The Refugee School Impact Program makes sure refugee children have the support, information and familiarity with teachers and our educational system they need to be successful.

“The State has a successful ongoing partnership with the Utica School District for providing services to refugee students,” Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel M. Roberts said. “We are pleased to help the district expand their programs to help refugee students obtain employment and job skills.”

In addition, the Governor convened a workgroup, led by Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito to ensure projects detailed in the 31-point plan are kept moving forward. They held their first meeting today at Fulton Community College, prior to visiting Gloversville to view some of the properties that will be a part of the affordable housing program.

The panel is made up of Senator James Seward, Senator Joseph Griffo, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort, Herkimer County Board of Legislators Chairman Vincent Bono, City of Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane, City of Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, Village of Sharon Springs Mayor Douglas Plummer, Fulton-Montgomery Community College President Dustin Swanger, Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties President and CEO Alicia Dicks.

“It is an honor for me to have been chosen by Governor Cuomo to chair this effort and to work with elected and private sector leaders who are dedicated to seeing the Mohawk Valley prosper,” Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito said. “This is the region where I was raised, and it is where I raised my family, so I am thrilled at the prospect of accomplishing all that has been planned.”

Senator Joseph Griffo said, “Governor Cuomo’s Capital for a Day plan is focused on providing help where we need it most, and today is the next step in delivering on those goals. These strategic investments in housing and education will not only help those in our community right now, but will provide the foundation for future growth. I appreciate the Governor putting this together and look forward to putting an action plan together that will implement all the pieces from Capital for a Day.”

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said, “Many homes in the Mohawk Valley have seen the impacts of severe weather over time, and too many seniors are in need of critical repairs for their houses that they simply cannot afford. I thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing this and for committing $250,000 to help. He told this region during the Capital for a Day event that the state would be here to help, and these investments by the working group are proof positive.”

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said, “These strategic investments in the Mohawk Valley will improve the quality of life in our communities and work to build a better future for all. I commend Governor Cuomo for the announcements from our Capital for a Day. I’m proud to be a part of the implementation team that will work take the historic announcements involving AMS and GE coming to Oneida County as well as announcements regarding investment in education, housing and other areas. I look forward to bringing them all to fruition as part of this team of exceptional individuals.”

County Executive Matthew Ossenfort said, “I am excited to be part of this group that will continue to examine and prioritize development projects for the region, as well as build on progress from the initiatives identified, back in August,” said Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort. “This is a major step forward for our communities and I thank the Governor for his continued focus on growing the Mohawk Valley’s economy.”

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig said, “As the southern gateway to the Mohawk Valley Region, Oneonta is an integral component of this six county region. It is clear that this working group is focusing on what is important to those living in the Mohawk Valley. Investing in critical home repairs will allow many to continue living in their homes, and funding a new program to help young adults enter the workforce is committing to our future. I thank Governor Cuomo for these real results we are seeing today and look forward to continuing this great progress.”

Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane said, “Too many homes in our neighborhood need essential repairs so that they can continue to be a safe place to live, and I am proud that we have a Governor who is delivering on his promise to help. This investment, alongside one in our future workforce, will help this region build back after increasingly severe weather and focus on the next generation. I look forward to working together and making sure that we continue seeing these successes and are well on our way to being better than before.”

Sharon Springs Mayor Douglas Plummer said, “The Governor’s Capital for a Day initiative is all about collaboration between our state and local partners to address the needs of our residents here in the Mohawk Valley – and as today’s announcement demonstrates, we are doing just that. This funding will go a long way towards helping our residents in need so we can pave the way towards a brighter future for the entire region. I thank the Governor for his vision to build a stronger Mohawk Valley and I am excited to bring more opportunities to our community.”

Community College President Dustin Swanger said, “Today’s announcement is a clear example of the success we are achieving through the Governor Cuomo’s Capital for a Day initiative. This funding will go a long way towards getting homeowners the resources necessary to make critical home repairs while connecting our youth with job opportunities that will bolster the workforce of our next generation. By working together with our local and state partners, we are making the future of entire community brighter and more sustainable and I thank Governor Cuomo for his unwavering commitment to bettering the lives of residents in the Mohawk Valley.”

Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties President and CEO Alicia Dicks said, “I commend Governor Cuomo for working to improve the quality of life for the future generation of New Yorkers, especially here in the Mohawk Valley. By helping residents in need afford critical home repairs and establishing programs to help young adults prepare to enter the workforce, he is delivering on his promise to keep the economic energy of the entire region moving forward. These programs are essential for the long-term vitality of the Mohawk Valley and I look forward to future progress in our community.”

During the Mohawk Valley Capital for a Day, Governor Cuomo traveled to Quad-C on the campus of SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica and announced that global technology leader ams AG, a multinational company that creates high performance sensor solutions and analog ICs, plans to generate more than 1,000 new jobs and over $2 billion in initial private investment to support a cutting edge, 360,000 square foot wafer fabrication facility to be constructed at the Nano Utica site in Marcy. The Governor also announced that GE Global Research will expand its New York global operations to the Mohawk Valley, serving as the anchor tenant of Quad-C, with least 470 jobs direct expected to be created and another 350 in the subsequent five years.

More details on the 31-point plan can be found here:

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