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Conference to focus on condition of upstate New York economy

Business, healthcare and economic development leaders will meet with academic officials during a three-day conference at the University early next month to identify and discuss key economic development issues throughout upstate New York. For the first time, the conference, which will be held November 6 to 8, will provide a forum for a joint session of the annual meeting of the Northeast Section of the Regional Science Association (NERSA), an international Regional Development organization and the annual Health Care Management and Policy symposium.

Manas Chatterji, a professor in the School of Management and NERSA organizer, has hosted the annual gatherings separately for a number of years. He decided to bring the two groups together because he says healthcare can play an enormous role in the regional growth of the upstate region.

"The healthcare industry is one of the largest employers in the region," Chatterji said. "In addition, healthcare services are major consumers of equipment and supplies, and purchasers and holders of realty properties."

Chatterji said that healthcare can also play an important role in quality of life issues. "Businesses and industry cannot retain or recruit employees if they are not afforded reasonable access to healthcare," he said.

The conference will feature a series of concurrent sessions covering topics such as water and environmental resources, immigrants and economic development, rural health care, education, income inequality and regional disparity. The program will also include a panel discussion on the impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks, disaster management, the impact of SUNY on New York communities and entrepreneurship.

The business climate in the Southern Tier will be the topic of a panel discussion chaired by Binghamton Mayor Richard A. Bucci, who will discuss his vision for the future. The discussion, which is free and open to the public, will be held on at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 6, AA-AG08. "Understanding what drives regional economic development is a crucial element in regional growth," Chatterji said. "This dialogue can then be used to develop a real strategic plan " not just wishful thinking."

The conference is being held in cooperation with Cornell University, University at Buffalo, University at Albany, Rockefeller Institute, United Health Services, Lourdes Hospital and Broome County Medical Society. There is no registration fee for SUNY staff and faculty. Lunch is $12. The fee for the general public is $35, or $10 per day, including lunch. For more information, contact Chatterji at 777-2475 or

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Last Updated: 10/14/08