I’m delighted to report that exciting things are happening in Orange County - and they’re being noticed too. This week we have welcomed Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to Orange County for two different events in two different Orange County cities.
On Thursday, Governor Cuomo held a press conference at SUNY Orange Newburgh’s beautiful Kaplan Hall to discuss his economic development agenda and the innovative new program StartUpNY. Our very own economic development guru Maureen Halahan, President and CEO of Orange County Partnership, had the distinction of introducing the Governor and welcoming him to Orange County.
StartUpNY is one of the Governor’s signature programs with a goal of spurring economic development by transforming university communities into magnets for new business and investment. It will foster entrepreneurialism and job creation on a large scale by transforming public higher education through tax-free communities across the state. Governor Cuomo recognizes that creating jobs is key to growing the economy in New York State. Job creation has been a key objective throughout my 12 year administration as well – you’ve heard me say it many times before – it’s about jobs, jobs, jobs. That’s why we were so happy to have him join us here in Orange County to discuss this important economic development incentive program.
Earlier this week, Lt. Governor Duffy was in Middletown to mark the official start of construction of Touro Medical College at the site of the former Horton Hospital. The redevelopment of this campus into a full-fledged, accredited medical school hits so many important points for the City of Middletown and Orange County.
Touro Medical College will give new life to an old building and help revitalize Middletown. This project is about economic development – jobs, jobs, jobs. It supports our commitment to education and will provide residents with new opportunities for learning and personal advancement. Of course, Touro Medical College is about health care. We’re fortunate to have had some great health care innovations here in Orange County in recent years – the newest hospital between NYC and Albany in more than 20 years, the growth of Crystal Run Health Care, and outstanding collaborations between health care providers. The presence of a medical college in our County will continue to spur that innovation. It’s also been a shining example of the good that can come from collaboration between the public and private sector.
Touro will also attract new people and visitors to Orange County who will enjoy the beauty, history, and culture that we have to offer. They’ll eat in our restaurants, visit our attractions, spend money in our shops. They’ll see why Orange County is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Already, a handful of medical students from Touro’s New York City campus are doing medical residencies at Orange Regional Medical Center. I applaud Middletown, as well as Dr. Ronald Israelski and others, for working diligently to attract Touro Medical College to our County. At this point, they are projected to open to students in Fall 2014.
I’m very proud of what we have accomplished, and continue to accomplish, here in Orange County. I’m happy to see our elected officials in Albany take note as well. I know that they’ll be back again as we continue to make positive things happen. Keep up the great work everyone!
Until next week, I wish you good health and happiness.