^ Some good points there.
Here's a small step toward helping upstate, from the Ithaca Journal:
CU joins effort to keep young professionals in area
By G. Jeffrey Aaron • email@example.com
• Staff writer • July 22, 2009
ELMIRA - Pipeline 4 Progress, an Elmira-based regional think tank, has partnered with two Cornell University groups to launch an initiative aimed at recruiting and retaining young, bright minds for the region's work force.
The three partners - Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chemung County, Pipeline 4 Progress and the Community Rural Development Institute - mapped out their strategy for a group of about 40 representatives from various businesses; human services, economic and work force development agencies; local government and educational institutions.
The next step, Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman, of the Community Rural Development Institute said, is establishing a 10- to 15-member team from those who attended the session to fine-tune the overall strategy to the unique needs of Elmira and the surrounding area. A similar meeting has already been held in Olean, which lies at the eastern edge of Pipeline 4 Progress' 13-county district.
The initiative is funded by a $450,000 grant from the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration - $150,000 a year for three years.
The partners are looking to utilize Cornell's economic and community development research to create pilot programs in Elmira and Olean that will address the so-called brain drain.
The first year of the program will focus on establishing the working group and creating relationships with appropriate agencies and businesses to establish the necessary training. Most of the program details will come from the local groups in each city. Cornell will provide research and technical assistance.
According to Pipeline 4 Progress, there are about 20 colleges and universities in the region that attract almost 92,000 students each year.
"If we can retain even a small percentage of that number, it would bring newer energy to the region," said Sean Lukasik, Pipeline's project coordinator. "We want to establish a pilot program connecting students to the work force to let them know about the employment opportunities in our region."
Lukasik said his group made its initial contact with Cornell in early 2007 and began collaborating on how the Ivy League university could play a role in helping Pipeline 4 Progress develop an action plan for making the area more attractive to recent college graduates looking to begin their careers.
"Cornell wrote the actual plan," he said. "They got it down on paper and secured the funding from the Economic Development Administration."
Much of the groundwork of identifying existing community and economic developers in the Elmira area has already been completed, said Mouillesseaux-Kunzman, but the agencies need to be better coordinated.
"There are a lot of agencies here, but they are not as effective as they could be," she said. "All of the pieces are out there, but they need to improve their coordination to increase their ability to work together."
Unfortunately, right below that article was this one.
Hardinge Inc. to lay off 50 employees
Horseheads facility: Weak market to blame
By G. Jeffrey Aaron • firstname.lastname@example.org
• Staff Writer • July 22, 2009
Citing a continuing softness in the marketplace, Hardinge Inc. is laying off 50 workers from the machine tooler's facility in Horseheads.
The latest work force cuts, announced by the company Tuesday, reduces the company's North American headcount to around 440 employees, compared to the approximately 700 people who worked at Hardinge a year ago.
"The U.S. machine tool industry is still down 70 to 75 percent and Europe is worse than that, down 80 to 85 percent," said Richard Simons, Hardinge's president and CEO. "Asia is the only area with promise, but two out of the three areas we sell to are down."
Simons also said the company's customers and competitors expect the downturn to last for the next few quarters.
As a cost savings move, Hardinge, in early May, furloughed 81 of its production workers for 10 weeks. Those workers returned to work on Monday, Simons said. But Hardinge looked at its staffing levels, the state of the machine tool market, and decided on the layoffs, which affected all of the company's departments in its Horseheads plant.
In a prepared statement, Hardinge said the difficult staffing decisions made over the past 13 months have enabled it to maintain a solid financial footing despite the continuation of unfavorable business conditions. As of June 30, the company said, Hardinge is in a positive net cash position reflecting a consolidated cash balance of $16.5 million, compared to total debt of $12.2 million.
Hardinge also announced its second-quarter earnings figures will be released in early August. Almost a year ago, Hardinge reported second-quarter 2008 net sales of $96.6 million and net income of $450,000. The income gained reversed a trend set during the two previous quarters, when the company reported net income losses totaling about $800,000.
Almost three months ago, however, Hardinge reported first quarter 2009 net sales of $52.1 million, down 39 percent from the same quarter last year, and a net loss of $5.4 million.