The man who helps lead the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) says people have to remember that Western New York has had job losses and population declines over several years -- and the process to turn it around will take some time.
"You had better do a very thoughtful, analytical approach to exactly what's going on in your economy, exactly what your strategic areas of strength are, and where you can compete or not compete in the world," said Howard Zemsky, co-chair of the WNYREDC.
The group released its investment plan for the Buffalo Billion during a recent meeting held at the University at Buffalo's Center for Tomorrow.
Zemsky says the turnaround won't happen in a day.
The governor has promised that Buffalo will get that billion in funding over several years, and success or failure will be measured "by the soundness of our strategy, how well we do in implementing, and how many jobs we create, and in order to create that environment and achieve that, you better know what you're doing. Ready. Air. Fire," Zemsky said.
Zemsky says he makes no apologies for taking time to map out an investment strategy.
The governor committed a $1 billion dollars in the Buffalo area economy to create thousands of jobs and spur billions in new investment and economic activity over the next several years.
The Council is moving forward with an "aggressive" timetable, so it can take advantage of this window of opportunity, Satish Tripathi, president of the University at Buffalo and Council co-chair, said in a news release.
"As the first wave of investment for the Buffalo Billion, the signature initiatives detailed in this report provide a strong and very broad-based foundation for sustained economic growth and opportunity in our region. From healthcare, education, and business and industry to cultural tourism and community development, this investment strategy is designed to maximize our region's diverse and distinctive strengths, now and for generations to come," Tripathi said.
In the coming weeks, implementation committees will be formed with area stakeholders and Council members.
Details on the Council's six signature investable initiatives can be found at this link: