To revitalize cities, Western N.Y. aims to decrease sprawl, train workforce

August 23, 2012 11:30AM

Western New York should re-vamp its economic development policy to focus on creating “urban vitality” and emphasize training for manufacturing jobs, said business figures and government officials at an annual meeting of regional development councils in the state. The Lake Placid News reported on the gathering.

Developer Robert Zemsky noted that, despite an overall drop in population, the greater Buffalo area has expanded to encompass more than three times the land mass it covered in 1960. If post-industrial regions like Buffalo want to thrive, they must court young adults as residents, he said. “How many kids graduate from college and say, ‘I want to go where there’s great sprawl’?” Zemsky said.

He also underscored the need to train young people to work in the manufacturing sector, which is expected to lose 21.4 percent of its workers to reitrement by 2020, according to the Lake Placid News.

At the meeting, Governor Andrew Cuomo also underscored the need for widespread broadband internet access in northern New York, the paper said. On Tuesday, the governor announced a $25 million initiative to increase internet access in underserved regions of the state. [Lake Placid News] — Guelda Voien