“I think we are well on our way to maybe having an announcement this spring,” said Penny Hill, the associate dean of TEC-SMART, who is leading Hudson Valley’s efforts on the college’s START-UP NY plan.
The state’s START-UP NY program allows businesses to pay no state taxes for up to ten years. In exchange for the tax break, the businesses must be located close to a college and show a commitment to help further the academic mission of the school that they partner with.
Businesses are seeking to partner with Hudson Valley on its plan, which was approved by the state in January. The plan includes four sites located near the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) in downtown Troy, totaling over 130,000 square feet of space for prospective businesses.
With the plan approved, businesses are now applying to take advantage of the program. Their proposals are reviewed by a committee of Hudson Valley administrative representatives and, if accepted, approved by the state.
According to Hill, about 30 companies have expressed interest in the sites, and the college has opened serious dialogue with about 12.
The college’s committee has looked at two of these companies in depth, and each is close to being approved. The names of the companies cannot be disclosed at this time, according to Hill, because the state still has to approve them.
“Those are two that could mean up to 30 jobs each,” said Hill.
In Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address, he said that START-UP NY has contributed to the creation or retention of over 2,000 jobs across the state and brought in nearly $100 million in investment.
Other local colleges, including Adirondack Community College, the University at Albany, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, and Schenectady Community College, are also participating in the program.
Hudson Valley chose to locate its sites in downtown Troy because of the lack of potential sites near the main campus and the prevalence of sites near the EOC. The EOC provides free educational and vocational programs for students who meet income and academic criteria.
Hill believes this will be a positive development for EOC students. “I think one of the best things about it is the EOC graduates could be some of the beneficiaries if this goes through,” she said.
In addition to locating near a college, prospective companies must also partner with the school on furthering its academic mission. Hudson Valley’s START-UP NY plan seeks companies in emerging technology fields that will provide opportunities for students such as internships and jobs. According to Hill, the two companies being considered are both in the advanced manufacturing industry.
“They have to fit within the realm of the plan with the types of businesses that fit our criteria,” she said.
Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia believes the program will have a positive effect on the city. “The START-UP NY program is phenomenal for Hudson Valley but is also fantastic for the city of Troy. So we really looked to have a partnership between the two of us, the city and the college, and that partnership is really going to benefit the entire Capital District,” he said.