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January 17, 2014 - 4:22pm

GCC trustees review plan for implementing Start-Up New York program

posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC.

Press release:

Monday night, Genesee Community College Board of Trustees reviewed the plan that the College will use to assess proposals from companies interested in applying for the Start-Up New York, also known as State University of New York (SUNY) Tax-free Areas to Revitalize and Transform Upstate NY program.

The statewide initiative was introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo last year to encourage potential developments on or within one mile of each of SUNY's 64 campuses by offering tax-free status to both the company and new employees for up to 10 years. Each SUNY institution can designate up to 200,000 square feet of space for Start-Up New York projects to create new jobs associated with the academic curriculum offered by the connected campus.

For further information about Start-Up NY go to:

William Emm, GCC's executive vice president for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, is GCC's point-person for the new, Albany-based initiative that aims to transform SUNY campuses into tax-free communities for new and expanding businesses. Emm shared GCC's multipage assessment plan that requires: each proposed company to identify the designated space, including square footage, with an AutoCAD site drawing; a description of the type of business being proposed; how the business aligns with GCC's academic mission and programs; and how the business generates community and economic benefits.

Additional assessment questions include:

• How will the company's product or service further GCC's mission?

• How many new net jobs will be created in the first two years of operation and overall?

• How many future employees will require additional training or education provided by GCC?

• How will the company establish itself as a good member of the community?

• Has the local municipality and/or economic development entity been informed of the tax-free space request?

With this information, GCC's designated Start-Up NY advisory committee, which will include representatives from the College's four-county service area, will carefully review each proposal and score the applications against a thoughtfully compiled rubric.

GCC President James Sunser will be informed of all incoming applications, remaining abreast of the committee's efforts and recommendations, while keeping the Board of Trustees apprised of each opportunity.

Any applications that meet all criteria will be reviewed by the GCC Board of Trustees and, with the Trustees' approval, an amended Campus Plan featuring the new business partnership will be available for review for a minimum of 30 days by GCC's Faculty Senate, local municipality, local economic development agency, applicable union representatives and the Student Government Association. With successful review and approval, the application is then submitted to SUNY for review and approval.

"We have developed protocols and strict criteria at different levels of the College to ensure companies are fully qualified to receive these tax-free benefits," President Sunser said. "All proposals and people will be considered under a consistent and thorough review to remain above any question of impropriety."

After a lengthy discussion, the Board approved the next phase of the process which allows College administrators to submit GCC's Start-Up New York evaluation and review plan to be submitted to SUNY for the next level of review and critique.

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