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Capital Region – Regional Economic Development Council

Welcoming remarks by
Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.
President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Inaugural Meeting
University at Albany SEFCU Arena

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 | PDF version


Good morning.

Welcome to the inaugural meeting of the Capital Region Economic Development Council. Thank you for sharing your expertise, imagination, and time. The Governor has requested that we work together to develop a vision, a strategic plan, and specific initiatives that will build on our strengths and provide direction for the future of our region. By our successful response, we will make a significant contribution to enhancing our regional economy in a sustainable way. We will have developed a thoughtful approach to building prosperity, attracting talent, providing jobs, and contributing more to the State of New York.

Toward this end, the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor have assembled you – a diverse team of participants with expertise and perspectives that represent business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations from across our eight counties.

Today, we are charged with formulating a vision. To create real change, that vision has to be inspiring as well as inclusive. So, it must be specific and clear. It needs to be based on our potential and what we can and are really ready to do.

The most delicate matter we will need to contend with is striking the proper balance between finding a central focus and ensuring inclusiveness. The regions of New York offer a variety of strategic areas in manufacturing, tourism, education, advanced technology, communications, art, and more. But a vision needs to drive prioritization. In the end, we will need to make choices.

This does not mean a vision leaves people out. Rather, the choices we make can provide organizing principles. Silicon Valley, which is famous for its success in technology, only continues its success because of its entrepreneurs, the investment capital, the overall human capital, the good schools, the strong research, the entertainment, and the culture of that region. That region has a vision based heavily in information technology and biotechnology, but its success is dependent on a full range of services and support that make it attractive and builds on its potential.

But, the vision of Silicon Valley is not our vision. We have our own distinctive and powerful capabilities – and possibilities. I am sure that the vision we create will have intensity and promise, and I thank you for your roles in formulating it.


Source citations are available from the division of Strategic Communications and External Relations, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Statistical data contained herein were factually accurate at the time it was delivered. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute assumes no duty to change it to reflect new developments.

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