Keuka College has received $250,000 from New York State to fund a project aimed at boosting the economic profile of Yates County.
The Empire State Development (ESD) grant will help fund the Center for Business Analytics and Health Informatics, which will be housed in a new building. Construction of the facility is expected to start in spring 2015.
The funding was included in the $80.7 million awarded to the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) at a ceremony yesterday (Dec. 11) in Albany. The awards culminated the fourth annual New York State Regional Economic Development Councils competition in which 10 regional councils across the state vied for a piece of $750 million in grants and tax breaks.
“I am pleased that the FLREDC and ESD saw the value of the Center for Business Analytics and Health Informatics (CBAHI), especially the impact it will have on Yates County,” said Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, president of Keuka College. “The Center will create jobs and become the hub for entrepreneurial programs and research in Yates County.”
The Center for Business Analytics and Health Informatics will leverage Keuka College’s entrepreneurial business programs to boost the economy of Yates County—New York State’s most economically challenged region—by creating construction, high-tech, health sciences, and education jobs,” said Díaz-Herrera.
“The academic programs, workshops, symposia and development of analytical capabilities that the CBAHI will promote will be vital components of our student’s education,” said Dr. Dan Robeson, founding director of the Center for Business Analytics and Health Informatics, chair of the Division of Business and Management and associate professor of management. “The CBAHI places Keuka College among the first movers in higher education in this new and dynamic field.”
“The Center will also leverage the College’s expertise in healthcare—in particular nursing and occupational therapy—to address the nursing shortage faced by Yates County and other rural regions across the country,” said Díaz-Herrera.
In addition, the president said health care providers in Yates County will receive state-of-the-art training in informatics.
“This is important because achieving meaningful use of electronic health records depends on the capacity of providers to effectively exchange data through interoperable systems while safeguarding the integrity, privacy, and security of patient information,” he explained.“The training provided by the Center, to nurses and others pursuing careers in healthcare, will help Yates County retain these talented workers, thereby ensuring a high-level of healthcare in the future.”
Keuka College students will also reap benefits because the Center will provide hands-on, experiential learning opportunities, a staple of a Keuka College education and a key to finding success in the job market and graduate school.
The Center will anchor a new college-town development (Keuka Commons)—called for in the College’s Long Range Strategic Plan—that will serve myriad needs of students and community residents. Early planning calls for a fitness center, stores, and eateries.
The ESD grant comes six months after the College earned START-UP designation, an initiative designed to provide major incentives for businesses to relocate, start up, or expand in New York State through affiliations with colleges and universities.
More than 2,500 square feet of vacant space at Keuka Business Park in Penn Yan was declared eligible for the START-UP program and the College is working with the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center to secure businesses for that location. The College also hopes to designate space in the Keuka Commons building for the START-UP NY initiative.
A centerpiece of the Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to jump-start the Empire State economy, the regional councils were established in 2011. The first three rounds of the regional council process awarded more than $2 billion to more than 2,200 job creation and community projects, supporting the creation and retention of more than 130,000 jobs.
There is good news for higher education in New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget for 2012-13.
Cuomo’s spending plan call for full funding for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), opportunity programs (HEOP, STEP/C-STEP, Liberty Partnerships) and Direct Institutional “Bundy” Aid.
“I commend Gov. Cuomo for recognizing the vital role Keuka College and other colleges and universities play in our state’s economic revival,” said College President Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera. “I am particularly pleased the governor has retained the maximum $5,000 award available through TAP, an aid program so critical to many of our students realizing their dream of a Keuka degree.”
Other programs Cuomo proposes to fund at last year’s levels include High Needs Nursing ($941,000), Teacher Opportunity Program ($450,000) and Nursing Faculty Loan Forgiveness and Senator Pat McGee Nursing Scholarships ($3.93 million). These programs work respectively to alleviate the nursing and teacher shortages throughout the State.
The State and City Universities were also level-funded, as well as community colleges.