Monday, June 13, 2011

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights. ~Pauline R. Kezer

It has been the joke of those living here …”you know, it’s SmallBany …” Many have had the perception that we are a small city with lots of growing up to do, and we are a bit backward as a Region.

Guess what – we can’t really say this anymore, at least from my perspective and the perspective of many I talk to. We have grown – grown in a huge manner – and this Region is now known throughout the world.

Credit the nanotechnology development and Global Foundries in the Region. Credit the TechValley initiative that has taken hold. And credit those who saw the potential here. We are now on the worldwide map as the center for technology and innovation and as a livable Region with a great quality of life, opportunity and climate for growing a business (okay – so maybe the winters are a bit tough – shhhh – don’t tell anyone).

I recall in July of 2009, when the country was knee deep in the recession – likely the worst recession anyone of us will ever experience in our working life, – I was watching Good Morning America as I was getting ready to leave for my office. The news, as it was those days, was doom and gloom, horror stories of businesses failing, mass layoffs, real estate prices crashing and foreclosures. The reporter was commenting on the dismal state of some of the industrial Midwest cities with double digit unemployment and more.

Then the story shifted …

“But in the Northeast, there is a shining star and a Region that is poised to explode and prosper ….”

The next frame – the sign for the Village of Malta, NY. The story went on to say that while other areas were losing industries and population, the Upstate NY area was going in the opposite direction. The story touted the number of jobs, the number of businesses, the development of our Region and how it will impact and the number of people that will be coming to work here. WOW – that was sweet.

And it is happening. We have families relocating to the Region now for jobs coming domestically and internationally. They don’t see us as SmallBany – they see opportunity. We even have the only program existing in the US – TechValley Connect ( – focused solely on helping relocating families acclimate to the Region, find jobs for the trailing spouse and helping those not of origin in the US culturally acclimate to the community. And it is working – and growing . Kudos to Angela McNerney and Julie Hansen of Tech Valley Connect for the great work they are doing and the impact they are having on the community.

So it is time to drop the SmallBany – we are on the world’s stage. Please welcome our newcomers to the Region – make them feel welcomed.

I guess you can see – I am a huge fan of the area. And thank you for reading this. - Dan

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