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Four Regional Leaders Share Insights at EDC Warren County’s OUTLOOK 2015 Meeting
EDC Warren County hosted approximately 130 guests to hear four regional leaders at its OUTLOOK 2015 breakfast meeting on Friday, January 30, at the Great Escape Lodge in Queensbury. Ed Bartholomew, EDC Warren County President, opened the program by inviting brief remarks from Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Geraghty (also the Supervisor of the Town of Warrensburg) and Assemblyman Dan Stec.
The four featured speakers addressed trends in the industry each represents. Local news media covered the event:
: Business Leaders Stress Efficiency, Technology
WAMC: Warren County Leaders Give Economic Forecast
: Panel: Innovation, technology crucial for business and education
Kristine Duffy, Ed.D., President, SUNY Adirondack,
noted that demand for higher education is increasing, with 60% of jobs predicted to require post-secondary education by 2025. This is spurring new educational delivery models, such as online, self-paced instruction and competency-based education. She noted that more needs to be done to support the completion of degrees by students in vulnerable populations, with SUNY Adirondack addressing this through its new “ADK COMPLETES” program. According to Duffy, student debt remains an enormous challenge, having reached $1.2 trillion nationwide. She cited falling state funding as a challenge that is forcing community colleges to become more creative in finding revenue from other sources, including the private sector.
Thomas J. Murphy, CPA, President & CEO, Arrow Financial Corporation and Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Company,
commented on the critical role of community banks in supporting economic growth, not only through lending but also through community service and leadership. He remarked that business borrowing is still somewhat slow, despite available funds, but stated the outlook for 2015 is cautiously optimistic, with expectations for growth and an improving labor market, as well as increased consumer confidence. He noted that the very low interest rates since 2008 have been particularly hard on senior citizens on fixed incomes.
Terry Coomes, Publisher of The Post-Star,
focused her comments on the changes to the media industry brought on by the Internet. Over the past 20 years, The Post-Star
, like most media organizations, has adapted to become a round-the-clock news resource, rather than a once-a-day deliverer of a newspaper. She demonstrated the immediate impact of website traffic measurements on prioritization of news stories, based on measured consumer interest.
Joseph DeVivo, President & CEO of AngioDynamics,
said that the cost compression going on in the healthcare industry is pushing transparency, with the availability of data allowing for important improvements in delivering care. He then shared some of the newest technologies that AngioDynamics has rolled out, including AngioVac, which addresses VTE; BioFlo technology to reduce catheter complications in the body; and the NanoKnife, which can help destroy cancerous tissue. AngioDynamics currently employs 800 people in Queensbury and Glens Falls, and is in the process of re-focusing the two facilities to handle global distribution and manufacturing. DeVivo concluded by noting the enormous negative impact on his industry of the medical device tax of 2.3% of revenues.
The event sponsors were NBT Bank, LeChase Construction, and Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 773. EDC has several events coming up in the next few months, including its Annual Luncheon on Friday, May 8, at the Great Escape Lodge, where the program will focus on healthcare leaders in Warren County: Glens Falls Hospital and Hudson Headwaters Health Network.