Annual Progress Report
To Our Members,
We are pleased to present the following as a summary of our progress toward our strategic objectives and our continuing goal of providing responsive and meaningful service to all of our members. We appreciate your confidence and support as we endeavor to sustain and build the North Country economy and, as always, we encourage your participation and input as we go forward.
Board of Directors and Staff
North Country Chamber of Commerce
SUMMARY PROGRESS REPORT: 2016
· Continued co-leadership of North Country Regional Economic Development Council. Earned high funding for regional projects once again.
· Fully secured Plattsburgh as the site of Norsk Titanium's RPD/3D aerospace component production facility, including securing $125 million in the State Budget for a SUNY Polytechnic facility to house the project. Provided active assistance to the company as its plans and activities developed, including groundwork for workforce training and recruitment, introductory meetings in Washington and facilitation of a partnership with Clarkson University.
· Continued to play an active role in development of the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at Clinton Community College, with construction underway and an active collaboration of partners to maximize the positive impact of the project.
· Helped to recruit and launch six new Quebec based manufacturing operations in the area.
· Successfully completed the recruitment of a satellite corporate office of Resolute Forest Products from Montreal, now located at SUNY Plattsburgh under the StartUpNY Program.
· Carried out several programs for our North American Center of Excellence for Transportation Equipment (NAmTrans), including a first Supply Chain Summit. Funding proposals were developed for current state consideration.
· Continued engagement in readiness to assist with the final transition of the Pfizer site in Rouses Point.
· Conducted more than 20 "Red Carpet Days" for Canadian companies considering doing business in the area.
· Hosted a Global New York Workshop to introduce area exporters and economic developers to the Governor's new Global NY program, directly leading to several state grants to our North Country manufacturers.
· Actively assisted Hudson Headwaters in the funding and construction of the new Champlain Health Center.
· Actively assisted with needed approvals for the start of construction of the Jericho Rise wind farm in Chateaugay.
PLATTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
· Successfully concluded Phase I of Air Service Development at the airport, including positioning in the marketplace for eventual international service. Now transitioning out of the lead role in Air Service Development, while placing key emphasis on expanded Marketing & Development activity on the economic development side of the mission.
· Seen completion this year of the major $60 million terminal expansion, with the FIS to be completed in 2017.
· Led a very visible and successful state presence at the Farnborough International Air Show, including much interaction with Norsk Titanium. Secured state approval to again lead the New York booth and presence at the Paris Air Show in 2017.
· Actively participated in the county committee that developed a proposal for $40 million in facility investments under Governor Cuomo's statewide Airport Competition, focused on economic development enhancements.
· Actively facilitated and led efforts to develop a major MRO at the airport with state investment. Though not yet successful, the effort was valuable and will position us for other successes in the future.
· Continued to play the lead role on behalf of the North Country in monitoring performance at our key northern border crossings and advocating in Washington and Albany for facilities, staffing, technology and other needs.
· Signed an updated Quebec-New York Economic Agreement in Quebec City in February with the FCCQ, witnessed by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, setting updated goals and refreshing the Quebec-NY relationship.
· Organized the second Plattsburgh-Longueuil Rendezvous, this time in Longueuil focused on opportunities for connection between our respective transportation and aerospace companies. The event included the signing of a Partnership Agreement between Clinton Community College and Champlain College (Longueuil).
· Carried out several collaborations between our Chamber and our partners at the Quebec Ground Transportation Cluster, including exhibiting at their 2016 Annual Conference & Expo in Drummondville.
· Initiated work on a planned Partnership Agreement with Aero Montreal, the aerospace cluster organization in Quebec.
· Hosted 5 missions to Plattsburgh by the Montreal Board of Trade/World Trade Center Montreal. Also conducted 6 "Doing Business in the U.S." seminars at locations around Quebec.
· Assisted with Canada Day in Albany, and with a Quebec Government event in Albany, both in March.
· Organized and moderated a Quebec-New York session at the Annual Meeting of the Business Council of N.Y.S.
ADIRONDACK COAST VISITORS BUREAU:
· Implementation of another aggressive, multi-faceted tourism marketing and development plan, including retention of Canadian visitation numbers outpacing other border areas in New York and the country. This included substantial expansion of marketing activities on social media.
· Completion and launch of a fully updated, bi-lingual Adirondack Coast website.
· Attraction and successful hosting of five Lake Champlain Bass Tournaments, and confirmation of major new tournament commitments for 2017.
· Development and adoption of a comprehensive new destination marketing plan for 2017.
· Continuation of the North Country Chamber's special and unique role with regard to working relationships with federal and state officials, as well as Canadian and Quebec leaders, serving as an effective advocate for North Country business and the North Country economy.
· Conducted another successful Annual Issue Survey and Business Confidence Index, and a very successful Annual New York State Legislative Breakfast.
· Continued to be part of the Executive Committee of Unshackle Upstate, and collaborated with UU on state issues and, through the UU PAC, targeted state legislative races in 2016. Co-coordinated another successful Adirondack Day in Albany.
· Actively supported Congressional enactment of a long sought 5-year federal Surface Transportation Bill, important to contract opportunities for our transportation equipment companies.
· Actively supported enactment by the State Legislature of a new 5-year Capital Plan for the MTA, generating contract opportunities for Nova, Prevost and Bombardier.
· Actively advocated for pending Congressional adoption of the Pre-Clearance Agreement between Canada and the U.S., securing sponsorship by Congresswoman Stefanik and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand.
· Participated in Senator Gillibrand;s Annual New York Farm Day in Washington, promoting North Country food products.
· Organized and hosted North Country tours and events by Governor Cuomo, Lt. Governor Hochul, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and Congresswoman Stefanik.
· Hosted important day long visits by Senate Majority Leader Flanagan and by Assembly Majority Leader Morelle, focusing on our important Canadian connection and our transportation equipment companies.
· In the 2016 State Budget, secured major funding for Norsk Titanium, Trudeau Institute and ORDA.
· Secured an additional year's funding through Senator Betty Little for continuation of our Chamber of Commerce On the Job Training Program.
· Secured an additional year's funding through the State Labor Dept. for our Workplace Safety Training Program.
· Continued our HR Leadership Program, including sharing sessions, workshops and seminars.
· Conducted several workshops around the region to assist employers in understanding and complying with the state's higher minimum wage mandates; the new state paid family leave law, and new federal over-time rules.
· Saw the revitalization of our SCORE Chapter, meriting Platinum Status from SCORE for its performance.
· Coordinated another successful "Small Business Saturday" regionally.
· Continued our partnership with AEDC, bringing small business workshops to all parts of the region.
· Conducted two very successful Job Fairs.
· Stabilized and grew our important Health Insurance Program.
· Maintained a positive and valuable working collaboration with our 13 Partner Chambers.
· Conducted successful Chamber events including the Annual Dinner, St. Patrick's, two Ski Days, Business Expo, the Car Show, Golf Tournament, the Celebration of Women in Business, and Taste of the North Country.