Cornell will further its investment in support of the local economy through a five-year, $460,000 contribution to Ithaca Area Economic Development (IAED), a nonprofit organization committed to growing the region’s business and employment.
“Cornell’s contribution allows us to do the work we do – to grow jobs, grow our tax base and increase opportunities,” said IAED President Heather McDaniel. “It’s really important to us to have all of our stakeholders at the table, and Cornell has been a part of these critical conversations about retaining and attracting talent across all industries – it’s just invaluable to our organization.”
At an event at Tompkins Community Bank on Sept. 21, IAED thanked Cornell and other donors while launching its next five-year fundraising cycle, the Th!nk Tompkins initiative, which aims to raise $2.1 million. To date, 65% of that target has been reached, with Cornell making the largest private investment.
“Cornell is so pleased to continue to support IAED’s critical work of fostering economic growth and workforce development in Tompkins County,” said Joel M. Malina, Cornell’s vice president for university relations. “Our five-year commitment is an integral part of Cornell’s investment in the county and reflects our ongoing commitment to enhancing opportunity and prosperity for our region and its residents.”
Cornell’s total economic impact in the region is estimated at $2.4 billion.
Founded in 1964 and one of only 73 accredited economic development organizations in the country, IAED catalyzes growth through direct support to businesses, often through loans and tax incentives; workforce development in manufacturing that trains employees and matches them with employers; and by providing economic development leadership and infrastructure support to create an environment favorable for businesses. In its last funding cycle, it facilitated nearly $700 million in private investment in Tompkins County and the creation of more than 400 jobs. The organization is funded roughly equally by the county, through fees for administrative services, and investors.
Some of IAED’s current projects include facilitating the more than $400 million investment in SouthWorks, the redevelopment of the 95-acre site formerly known as the Chain Works District in Ithaca’s South Hill neighborhood; helping to establish the semiconductor company Menlo Micro at the Cornell Business and Technology Park in Ithaca, which constitutes a $50 million investment and the creation of 100 jobs; and utilizing a $1.2 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand IAED’s workforce development program in manufacturing to include construction trades.
“We are grateful for Cornell’s long-standing support of IAED, since our founding, and their recent pledge to our Th!nk Tompkins investment initiative,” said IAED Board Chairman Greg Galvin, M.S. ’82, Ph.D. ’84, MBA ’93, chief executive officer of Rheonix. “Both institutions prioritize workforce development and the economic wellbeing of Ithaca, Tompkins County, Central New York and the Southern Tier. Our partnership will continue to deliver measurable, impactful outcomes for our community.”
“The future is really bright here,” McDaniel said, “and meeting our investment goals means we can roll up our sleeves and get to work for the next five years.”