Regional business leaders and local politicians praised Schenectady's reinvigorated downtown and the growth of Tech Valley at the Center for Economic Growth's (CEG) annual meeting Thursday, Dec. 13, at the new GE Theatre at Proctors.
We're back, said Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna. "We're a leader in Tech Valley. For the first time in a generation, Schenectady residents are excited and optimistic."
According to Savage, much of this excitement and optimism is tied to approximately $214 million in new investments in Schenectady County, including the expansion of the Golub Corporation and General Electric in the area.
The GE Theatre, where the CEG event was held, is also an example of Schenectady's downtown development initiative.
"We've already booked more than 1,300 events for next year," said Proctors CEO Philip Morris, who said the theater did slightly fewer than 400 events this year. "We signed a three-year petition with CEG to be part of the downtown initiative, and now we say 'woohoo' to Schenectady and Proctors."
The program featured a film produced by Goldstein Productions for CEG that was shown on Proctors' new 40-by-56-foot iShow screen. The video featured former WRGB newscaster Jack Arnecke, who highlighted recent developments in the downtown areas of Saratoga, Troy and Schenectady.
According to CEG President and CEO F. Michael Tucker, Tech Valley is no longer a region on the rise.
"Tech Valley is a region that has arrived," said Tucker. "If we look carefully at what is in the pipeline for the future, I think you will agree that Tech Valley has an incredible story to tell."
Tucker cited International Sematech's decision to relocate to University of Albany, IBM's recent collaboration with RPI in Troy and the expansion of GE Power and GE Global Research in Schenectady as flagship signs that Tech Valley is not only a regional power, but a region of emerging "global prominence."