In a surprising press conference, the boards of directors for both the Westchester County Association (WCA) and the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC) announced their intent to merge the previously distinct organizations into a single development and business advocacy organization.
“This is an exciting, long overdue opportunity to develop a transformative, integrated business advocacy organization that will focus on economic development throughout the entire Hudson Valley region,” says current WCA Chairman William P. Harrington, who will serve as the chairman of the newly unified board of directors. “This merger will foster a coordinated effort by Westchester and Hudson Valley business leaders, in partnership with government, to create economic development and opportunities that will benefit the entire spectrum of Hudson Valley residents.”
WCA President and CEO William Mooney, Jr. says joining the two sister-organizations is a clear and beneficial arrangement. “The WCA and HVEDC have always worked well together. The strengths and programs of each organization are complementary and as a unified organization will realize incredible synergies. HVEDC’s strength in key industry clusters and their geographic reach is of enormous value to our organization. As we come together to become one organization, we will clearly better serve the needs of Westchester County and the entire Hudson Valley.”
Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation Mike Oates (left) and Westchester County Association President and CEO William M. Mooney, Jr. address the media after the announcement of a merger of the organizations on January 29, 2019.
Photo by Hudson Valley Economic development Corporation and Westchester County association
The design is that by merging, the two entities will yield greater legislative power, a greater voice for economic growth and proactive policies and initiatives within the region, and new channels of distribution for local organizations previously unavailable to the two organizations. Priority focus will be on real estate selection and incentives, workforce and cluster development, and the gigabit economy.
HVEDC Board Chair Robert J. Levine, who will assume the role of First Vice Chair of the new board, says, “These are exciting times for the Hudson Valley, and the region needed an organization that can take a leadership role in both economic development and business advocacy.” He adds, “The organization will fill both these roles as we make this seamless transition to a new organization.”
As part of Marist College’s construction and development programming, the school announces the unveiling of its newly renovated Steel Plant building on Friday.
Work began on the expansion and renovation of the Steel Plant Studios in summer 2017. Led by Robert A. M. Stern Architects, the same firm that designed Marist’s new residence halls, the science and allied health building, and the Hancock Center, the project creates a new space for the college’s fashion program and the art and digital media department. In total, construction entailed adding a two-story, 35,000-square-foot structure to the existing 12,000 square feet of studio and learning space.
“The new Steel Plant will provide current and future Marist students with a state-of-the-art facility that will not only inspire creativity but will also provide the equipment to prepare them for the challenges of the professional world in the 21st century,” says Marist President David Yellen. Indeed, with digital printing and manufacturing spaces, the center offers cutting edge technology to students who want to hit the ground running in their post-graduate careers.
Now complete, the Steel Plant is a multifaceted edifice that is just as much for students and faculty as it is for the community. In addition to the digital labs, fashion studios, and makerspace for students, there is also an art gallery, a fashion gallery, and a winter garden and café for visitors to meander. On top of that, the Mporium retail laboratory, the fashion boutique operated by merchandising students) will now have a permanent home inside the plant.
To complete the project, Marist received over $400,000 in partial funding from the New York State Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program (HECap).
“Having had the chance to see this impressive space first-hand,” says New York State Senator Sue Serino,” I am looking forward to seeing the many ways students take advantage of it to further their futures.”