Finger Lakes among regions getting extra money

ALBANY — New York state's 10 economic regions will divide more than $700 million in new state economic development funding.

The money announced Thursday will support hundreds of local economic development projects including private company expansions, new start-up businesses, local higher education programs and workforce development initiatives.

The funding was announced Thursday in Albany at an event that attracted hundreds of local leaders and economic development officials from around the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the crowd that the funding is key part of his administration's efforts to reverse decades of economic decline in upstate New York.

"For many years we were fighting the tide," said Cuomo, a Democrat. "Now it's coming back our way."

Five regions were declared "top performers" and received extra money this year. They are the mid-Hudson Valley, the capital region, New York City, the Mohawk Valley and the Finger Lakes. The mid-Hudson region received $83.3 million, the largest single award.

Specific projects winning funding Thursday include a new job training center in the Southern Tier, a downtown redevelopment plan in Schenectady and expansions of a western New York dairy farm, a Syracuse drug maker and a manufacturing facility in the north country.

Other winners receiving state assistance include a Legoland theme park in the Hudson Valley, a manufacturing center in Queens and a drone manufacturer on Long Island.

The money was awarded through Cuomo's 10 regional economic development councils, which have been tasked with creating and implementing customized economic strategies for their particular part of the state.