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DeFleur addresses community coalition

Community leaders from business, government, education and nonprofit organizations gathered last week for a series of panel discussions hosted by the Greater Binghamton Coalition.

The panels addressed the community’s economic challenges, strategies to retain a creative workforce, building community pride and continuing the region’s revitalization.

President Lois B. DeFleur, a member of the coalition, served as a panelist, speaking of the University’s strategic plan.

“It’s crucial that we again look at the future,” she said. “Given who we are now and given the environment, what is it we need to improve? We’re looking to the future, to add some more academic fields, perhaps even schools and colleges.

“We want to pursue what makes sense for us in terms of size and complimentary fields.”

Marc Newman of Newman Development said that there is a lot more positive that can happen to move the region forward. “We are in a position in this community to create from within,” he said. “Let’s look at what’s needed here and let’s pursue it.” Panelists called for the establishment of a capital fund to support the coalition’s goals. “The coalition is a great step,” said Newman, “but to take the area to another level, we’ve got our work cut our for us. We need to establish some kind of fund for economic and marketing development. We can’t do it on a shoestring, but somehow we’re going to do it.”

DeFleur agreed.

“One critical factor is the Binghamton capital part,” she said. “How do we really get some venture capital here?

“It’s another important component to moving forward, diversifying the economy and bringing jobs to the area.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08