Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, who has made economic development and job creation his top priorities since taking office, was pleased by the recent announcement of two initiatives that could lead to greater prosperity in Western New York.
First Niagara Financial Group will create 500 new high-paying jobs throughout its growing upstate New York operations over the next five years. For its commitment to creating jobs throughout New York, the company has been awarded $5.7 million in tax credits as part of the Excelsior Jobs Program, a program that Ceretto helped to enhance and extend in this year's state budget.
"Creating jobs and helping to get hard working New Yorkers back on their feet is my top priority," Ceretto said. "By investing in the state and its people, First Niagara Financial Group is sending a powerful message to other companies that Western New York is open for business. I am hopeful that more companies will follow and help usher in an economic renaissance here in Western New York."
A second announcement concerned the unveiling of the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program. Under this program, SUNY Buffalo will receive a $35 million grant to help make the institution a leading catalyst for job growth throughout the state, while strengthening the academic programs of the university.
"Upstate New York has had tremendous success when local universities and businesses work together to create cutting edge technologies, while supplying today's students with the tools and experiences they will need to compete in tomorrow's workplace," Ceretto said. "While today's announcement is a terrific step in the right direction, we must continue to work to pass UB2020 before the conclusion of this year's session."
"UB2020 is the comprehensive solution we need to provide the University at Buffalo with the necessary tools and resources to become one of the most advanced research and academic institutions in the nation," Ceretto said. "It will also create thousands of good-paying jobs and foster hundreds of private-sector businesses that will not only employ hard-working Western New Yorkers, but will bolster our local tax base and help drive down property taxes."