Economic Development

The best way for our residents to get out of poverty is through good-paying jobs. We will get Rochester working again by supporting our current businesses, attracting new ones, and helping our citizens get the training they need to fill the jobs our businesses provide. 

 
 
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Where We Are:

During her 2015 State of the City address, Mayor Warren claimed that she would “deliver 1,000 jobs for 1,000 city residents during my first term as Mayor” (Warren, 2015).  Even more recently, at her 2017 State of the City address, she claimed to have created or retained a whopping 30,000 jobs, a statistic she has yet to validate (Democrat and Chronicle, April, 2017).  The reality is that Rochester actually had 800 less people employed by the end of Warren’s third year than it did when she first took office. Unemployment is down only because the unemployed are leaving the Rochester labor force, not because more people have jobs. And unemployment in Rochester’s minority community is a shocking 20%.

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Our Path Forward:

I hear every day: “City Hall has no vision, no plan. No one knows who to talk to.”  That will change.  We will bring in new leadership to make sure Rochester prospers.  I will appoint an Economic Development Commissioner who is a seasoned professional, with significant experience in business development and a proven track record in creating jobs.  City government cannot create all of the jobs we need to support our citizens, but we can support the businesses that will.

 

Establish Designated Development Areas

Working with businesses, stakeholders and neighborhoods, we will identify Designated Development Areas within the City. This will allow us to proactively secure neighborhood support, obtain necessary state and federal funding for key utility infrastructure, and make our City more attractive for new development. We need to create more “shovel ready” development sites for meaningful job opportunities, not rely on gimmicks like casinos.

Forge Closer Partnerships With Area Colleges

The University of Rochester is this region’s largest employer and should be our #1 ally in economic development.  We should help reinforce the strategic growth objectives of UR, RIT and our other education partners whenever possible.  If they thrive, so will our City.

Rebuilding The Community Coalition

We have great partners in local economic development, including the Greater Rochester Enterprise, Empire State Development, and the Chamber of Commerce.  We must harness their collective energy to ensure that we are all working together to promote regional growth.  We can also use their influence to make a stronger case on critical local issues, like funding for municipalities and schools, at the State and federal levels. 

Focus On Attracting High Tech Jobs

For every high paying job we are able to bring to our area in sectors like photonics, food processing and IT, there is a ripple effect which typically results in another 3-5 additional professional and service jobs for people of various skill and education levels.

Require Project Labor Agreements

These job-creating agreements will be negotiated on all large City construction projects, which will result in on-time, on-budget completion, better worker protections and higher salaries, and the ability to require City residents and minorities be hired in larger numbers.

Ensure Integrity In The Development Process

We will bring the Office of Public Integrity up to the standards of the National Association of Inspectors General, giving residents, businesses, developers and other stakeholders the confidence that City government is operating transparently, honestly and in good faith.

Identify Additional Venture Capital Sources

We will play an active role in identifying start-up financing to help new entrepreneurs as well as established businesses access the capital they need to grow and prosper.  We can leverage this funding, particularly for small start-up businesses.

Embrace The Chamber of Commerce's "One Job" Program

The Chamber’s “One Job” initiative, promoted by former Mayor and Lt. Governor and current Chamber President Bob Duffy, is a great example of the kind of public-private partnership we need to get City residents working.  I will make sure the City is a full partner in supporting businesses who commit to hiring and training City workers.

Be The Best At The Basics

Timely, accurate information, data and other support services to recruit new prospective businesses and support existing businesses are key if we want to grow our economy.  And we need to do a much better job in meeting the business needs of our current customers by overhauling current systems that are confusing, inefficient, overlapping and poorly run.  Knowledgeable, timely, and consistent information and support to the business community will be a high priority.

Good jobs are the surest pathway out of poverty.
— Sri Mulyani Indrawati, former COO of the World Bank

Together We Can

The best way for our residents to get out of poverty is through good-paying jobs. We will get Rochester working again by supporting our current businesses, attracting new ones, and helping our citizens get the training they need to fill the jobs our businesses provide.

If you care about this city like I do, add your name to support my economic development plan.

Spread The Word

It takes passion, energy, ideas and healthy dialogue to make change; and I know that many of you are aching for change.

I promise that I will deliver that change – but I cannot do it without your help. If you like what I have to say and what I stand for, please help me right now by sharing my plan for economic development.