Southern Tier 8 welcomes collaborative efforts in launching sustainable community initiatives. As we measure the value of strategic investments, we hope that our residents can be proud of the programs that have made a difference in the community’s well-being and pursuit for economic prosperity across the region. A selection of impactful projects and programs are featured below.
Innovative Readiness Training for military & services provided for rural communities
Over the last few years, Southern Tier 8 was matched for several Department of Defense Innovative Readiness Training programs that offered training programs for the military while providing health care and engineering assistance to residents in Chenango and Cortland counties. County Planning Departments, Greater Chenango Cares, the Chenango County Agricultural Society and Healthy Cortland were key partners in these projects and provided services valued at more than $3.7 million.
Workforce training for an emerging industry
In January 2016, Hartwick College opened New York State’s first Center for Craft Food and Beverage to serve as the region’s resource for testing, education and business development in the emerging brewing industry. In the first 9 months of operation, the Center not only analyzed 836 analytical lab samples, but also provided direct assistance to 53 businesses (10 breweries, 11 hop farms and 32 craft malthouses).
A holistic approach for economic development
In 2016, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County developed a program to provide food and farm-based entrepreneurs with training and technical assistance in business development, marketing and processing, with access to the Regional Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen. The program was expected to assist 40 food-based businesses, farms and individual entrepreneurs and help create five new businesses. Since program inception, the team at CCE has provided technical business assistance to 110 farms and food-based businesses across 5 counties in New York and Pennsylvania. 4 new businesses have launched. In the first year, sales for the businesses increased across the region by $200 per week, which is $10,000 additional income.
Career opportunities in rural education (CORE) for the next generation
The CORE Initiative has focused on preparing future leaders of tomorrow to excel in the 21st-century job market. Local superintendents designed programs that take STEM skills and have applied the skill sets to regional and local workforce demands. The program coordinators have established focused programs for students in BioMedical Sciences at Milford and Charlotte Valley Schools, Advanced Manufacturing program at Edmeston, and Energy at Schenevus. In the first two years, 10 courses have been offered to 377 students across 5 school districts.
An ecosystem to support start-ups
In 2013, EDA committed $2 million to support the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Binghamton to provide co-working space, wet & dry labs, event space and administrative support. With the help of the Koffman family, Binghamton University and SUNY Broome, the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator opened its doors in 2017. In the first 6 months of operation, 37 entrepreneurs received guidance and assistance to develop their businesses. This diverse community of talent includes an urban farmer, a manufacturer of lithium ion batteries, a personal care product developer and a hemp wine producer.
Exploring the arts & agriculture of Appalachia
Launched May 12, 2018, the Tioga Arts & Agriculture Trail is a countywide, self-guided tour through the region’s finest art studios, galleries and farmland. For maps & routes, click below.