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News Release    

July 11, 2003

Steinhaus Hails Dutchess Jobs Successes
Dutchess County Wins 5th National Rank and 1st in New York

Out of 200 US metropolitan areas the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities report, released June 2003, ranks Dutchess County first for economic growth in New York State. Nationally, Dutchess County jumped nine slots to 34th in job growth, up from 43rd last year. Even more startling, Dutchess County is ranked number five nationally in growth in salaries.

The Milken Institutes annual ranking of U.S. metropolitan areas shows where jobs are being created, economies are growing and businesses are thriving. This year, cities with diverse, stable economies - not the booming high-tech "new economies" of the 1990s - are the big winners.

Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus said, “With the success of our agenda to diversify our business base, the strategic blueprint we launched in the mid-1990’s continues to strengthen our local economy. Our endless hours dedicated to countywide economic development proves no one should be surprised Dutchess County is a big winner, especially within New York State. I say congratulations to our Dutchess County team for a job well done. Being the number one economic development success story in all New York State is an incredible achievement.”

The Best Performing Cities ranking depicts those US metropolitan areas that are recording the top economic performance and creating the most jobs in the nation. It reflects a firm’s ability to create jobs and attract human capital. Key components of the ranking include job, wage and salary, and technology growth. A common key in this year’s list was diversity of an economic base.

“It is important to note,” added County Executive Steinhaus, “that this report indicates Dutchess County is ranked fifth in nationwide salary growth, so we are not just offering minimum wage jobs in Dutchess, we are achieving our goal of creating an overall high quality household living environment in our community.”

From 1996 to 2001 the county’s salary and wage disbursement growth was ranked nationally at 47 out of a possible 200. However, Dutchess ranked 5th on a national average in wages and salary growth for the most recent reported period.  

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The Executive noted, “A great deal of that success can be attributed to our county’s overall economic development plan that has created thousands of jobs and filled millions of square footage of commercial space since the mid-1990’s. Most recently our positive energy produced our selection for the state’s world-class Hudson River Rivers and Estuaries Center, which will be calling Dutchess County home at Dennings Point, Beacon. This center will generate $170 million of construction investment, employ up to 500 scientists, researches, PhD’s and others, with a projected annual budget of $50 million.” Steinhaus pointed out Dutchess won the competition to be the host community against two-dozen river communities.

“Our agenda in Dutchess County is to have a successful, comprehensive, multidimensional, economic development strategy that diversifies our business foundation,” said the County Executive. “My goal has been for Dutchess to be a world-wide recognized ‘brand name’ and branding our county with world class assets such as the Rivers and Estuary Center will help achieve that goal.”

Dutchess County’s string of successes since the mid-1990’s has been phenomenal. The Executive noted, “We have recruited almost 100 new businesses-including the $2.5 Billion IBM Chip Fab, the Gap’s northeastern US Distribution Center and its current 1,200 paychecks, and in just the past year, Dutchess County’s aggressive economic development strategy produced an eye-opening half of the total new jobs created in the Hudson Valley Region.”

Steinhaus said, “We have been recognized as a five-star community for our quality of life, and by Forbes Magazine as ‘one of the best places to live and work in the US’ and by the NYS Business Council as ‘a poster child for economic development.’”

Dutchess County’s Economic Development in a glimpse:

  • Since 1993, Dutchess County has been running on a multi-dimensional, comprehensive diversification strategy.

  • Almost 100 expanded or recruited companies have joined the region.

  • Over seven million square feet has been absorbed.

  • Since 1995, over $300 million in IDA finance bonding.

  • Twenty-three Dutchess County Companies have received IDA trade show grants.

  • Almost 300 Dutchess County businesses are certified as Empire Zone recipients, employing 16,000, with 3,600 of those being newly created jobs.

  • 11,000 tourism jobs exist.

  • Dutchess County Tourism launched a countywide tourism training grant that will train employees of the tourism industry, restaurants and hotels, to include the Courtyard Marriott and Hampton Inn.

  • Since 2002, successful partnerships with local corporations such as Phillips Semi Conductor and IBM plan to conduct hi-tech training for new employees.

  • GAP Corp. will apply for a training grant from the NYS Department of Labor.

  • Fishkill Health Center will begin credentialing program for training healthcare workers.


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