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Student think tank aims at improving local economy

By : Daniel Richards

A group of Binghamton University students hope its new coalition will provide the economic stimulus to help other students find employment within the Greater Binghamton area after graduation.

Catalysts for Intellectual Capital (CIC2020) was created as a result of Diane Crews’ Leadership and Organization Change course that examined leadership and expressed the potential for student involvement as being crucial for the region’s economic growth.

The group’s five student co-founders — Alaina Besemer, Jason Kaye, Jonah Kimmelstiel, Marc Lessner and Matthew Markoff — believe there have been many students who have wanted to stay in the Greater Binghamton area but were not confident that the local job market would provide appropriate employment opportunities.

“Facilitating student involvement in the economic development of the region is vital to the retention of students in the Greater Binghamton area once they graduate,” said Kaye, a junior political science major.

“We need to encourage entrepreneurship and collaborate with both the public and private sectors in the region to get the ball rolling.”

The group plans to advise the community on economic development, analyze economic trends and provide implementation plans — bridging the gap between University students and the community while creating a positive energy and continuity for the Southern Tier. Other plans include seeking investors to generate business development. “We need to focus our attention on job creation in order to improve prosperity and retain Binghamton students in the area,” said Kimmelstiel, a junior political science major.

Since its creation earlier this semester, the group has met with several organizations including the Greater Binghamton Coalition and the Downtown Binghamton Business Association. It was awarded a Harpur College Undergraduate Research Award earlier this semester.

Now, CIC2020’s members are seeking to find other channels of funding for their initiative. They are confident that with all the community and University resources, they will be able to encourage the economic changes people would like to see happen.

For more information, visit CIC2020’s website at
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Last Updated: 10/14/08