Poughkeepsie… In its Spring 2004 Special Report, Empire Zones:New Attitudes, New Opportunities, New York State Empire State Development reports that Dutchess County’s Empire Zone was the top zone in New York State for job growth from 1999 through 2002, and was the top zone by investment for the same period. According to the state, certified businesses in the Dutchess Empire Zone saw a total net increase in jobs of 6,154 with total new investment exceeding two billion dollars at $2,165,429,000.
Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus remarked, “This is clear evidence the strategies we employed to provide economic development and to maximize and diversify job creation opportunities for the businesses and families of Dutchess County have worked. It is a fulfillment of a community wide vision, and it is an incredible accomplishment worth celebrating.”
Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the number of new jobs in the Dutchess zone surpasses by 3,327 the number of jobs (2,827) created in the next highest zone. The total private sector investment in the Dutchess zone outpaced the second highest zone investment by $563,962,000 – an amount in itself that was higher than the total zone investment in all but three of the other zones throughout the state.
“The Empire Zone Administrative Board has consistently made decisions that demonstrate foresight, intelligence, and commitment to the betterment of the entire county. We are proud that these decisions have resulted in this outstanding record of economic growth,” said Dr. D. David Conklin, Chairman of the Poughkeepsie Dutchess Empire Zone Administrative Board.
The 1994 local law creating the zone included the three municipalities of the City and Town of Poughkeepsie and the Town of East Fishkill. Boundary revisions to the original zone have occurred over time which have added parcels of land in nine more municipalities, for a total of 12 municipalities in the zone, the most recent being Pawling earlier this year.
Steinhaus concluded, “We have all worked hard to ensure a successful, meaningful Empire Zone program in Dutchess County, and we remain committed to the program and our continued progress.”
The Poughkeepsie/Dutchess Empire Zone, created by Dutchess County and designated by New York State in 1994, is administered through the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation. The Zone is funded by state, county and local support.