Bringing jobs and new economic opportunities to northern and central New York was a major focus of my business career. When the Plattsburgh Air Force Base closed, I helped create the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation to ensure the existing land and infrastructure was put to good use. Today there are more than 500 jobs there as a result of our efforts. I also worked for years to recruit businesses from Canada to Upstate New York, and I have continued the fight to attract new business in Congress.
Today, we need a multi-pronged strategy to keep our economy strong and to provide opportunities for our children:
- Keep Fort Drum Strong:
The talented and dynamic workforce and resources housed at and around Fort Drum make it a tremendous economic engine for the region. In Congress I have worked hard to make sure that Fort Drum maintains its place as a center for national defense, and that its infrastructure continues to grow to meet the needs of our 21st century Army.
- Lead the Way on Green Energy:
Upstate New York has already taken strides to promote a green energy economy, and that's creating good paying jobs for working families across the state. Whether it is solar, biomass, wind or other technologies, our Congressional District is already up and running with a green energy industry, and we need to do everything we can to promote its further growth to create high-paying jobs Upstate. We also need to provide the right incentives for consumers to make their homes energy efficient so that we can reduce energy costs and create new jobs.
- Close Offshore Tax Loopholes and Reduce Taxes for Companies that Create Jobs:
We need to end the tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas while creating appropriate tax credits for those businesses that create new jobs here at home. In Congress I voted for H.R. 4213, the American Jobs, Closing Tax Loopholes, and Preventing Outsourcing Act, which would eliminate tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs, and I introduced a bill that would provide a tax credit for companies that create new jobs in rural areas, that would be applicable in every community here in the 23rd District.
- Protect Our Farms Today and for the Future:
Agriculture is a major component of the Upstate economy. If farmers aren't getting a fair price for their product, it hurts everyone in Upstate New York. As the Agriculture Committee crafts the 2012 Farm Bill, I will fight for farm policies that benefit both producers and consumers so we can keep our economy strong for all the hardworking families of Upstate New York.
- Job Training for Recent Graduates and America's Veterans:
Recent college graduates and our veterans returning home from overseas are entering the civilian workforce in the midst of a troubled economy unlike anything Americans have seen in decades. Moreover, recently unemployed workers, especially older workers, need a way to quickly retrain and reenter the workforce at a job that pays as well or better than the one they lost. In Congress, I have worked with local Chambers of Commerce to find funding for job training programs so that our workers have the skills employers are looking for.
- Make Our Universities a Part of the Solution:
We have some of the best colleges, technical schools and universities in the country right here in Upstate New York. By supporting institutions of higher education here at home, we can continue to attract talent to our area that will support businesses large and small for years to come. Area colleges and universities create jobs and help promote technological advances that will bring investment to Northern and Central New York in the long term. As a Member of Congress, I have supported area colleges and universities by helping them get funding to attract top talent, and to pay for valuable projects that will benefit New Yorkers in the years ahead.
- Maximizing Commerce with Canada to Create Jobs:
Before being elected to Congress I spent much of my career working to bring investments from Canadian businesses to New York to help create jobs. As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, I know we need to ensure that we have a border that moves people and goods promptly, but with security always in mind. In Congress I have worked to thin the border for companies seeking to do business here while giving our law enforcement agencies the resources they need to keep potential threats out of our communities. Recently the House passed legislation that I introduced to create a counter-narcotics strategy for the northern border. Earlier this year I also introduced a bill to raise the limit on the value of goods that Americans can bring back from Canada duty-free, which will encourage cross-border commerce.
- Protect and Improve Local Infrastructure:
To attract businesses and create jobs for our region we have to maintain and expand our infrastructure. As your Congressman I have supported local communities by requesting funding for high-value infrastructure projects including building a new Lake Champlain Bridge and repairing the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge. I also recently succeeded in getting funding to help expand the Alexandria Bay Land Port of Entry, which will provide jobs and help move goods around the region.