ALBANY -– Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has said he will be occupied with job-creation efforts the rest of the year, will stop Tuesday morning in Buffalo to unveil the members of his new regional economic development advisory councils.
The governor is expected at Roswell Park Cancer Institute at 10 a.m. to release the names of the new Western New York panel, whose recommendations for job-creation ideas will be not be legally binding on the Cuomo administration’s future economic development agencies.
In an interview, though, Cuomo said the work of the councils -- and how good of an overall job creation plan they can put together -- will be a key component of the overall program and shape how money flows from Albany. "These councils are playing a vital role and will determine whether millions of dollars in aid goes to the region or not,'' Cuomo said.
A Cuomo spokesman declined to reveal any names in advance of the event, but the panels are expected to include an array of interests -– from manufacturing to banking to higher education sectors –- and have representative of both management and labor.
Cuomo also will be heading to Rochester and Syracuse to make similar announcements later in the day.
The 2011 state budget set aside $130 million for 10 regional councils to compete for in a process that could leave some areas of the state coming up short if they fail to devise comprehensive plans without a region-wide consensus.
Cuomo has said competition is good for the state, and that the panels -– not the state -– are in a better position to know the particular needs of a region. The panels are charged with devising region-specific ideas for attracting and retaining jobs. They will also be able to apply for another $800 million or so from state agencies for everything from road construction funding to energy-efficiency grants.
"I'm very excited about the potential for this process, especially for its application for Western New York,'' Cuomo said.
-- Tom Precious