The Southern Tier has shot up the rankings in Governor Andrew Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Awards, earning $91.1 million in development funding to implement their economic plan. Tioga County is receiving development money for the Nichols Revitalization Project, tourism promotion and training for unemployed workers.

"It's great to see hard work pay off," said Senator Tom Libous. "This year we listened to many talented people in our community and put together a plan to move us forward by investing in infrastructure, our local farms, and health care and new high-tech careers through partnerships with our universities. I'm glad the Governor's Office recognizes what we already know - the Southern Tier is full of immense talent and potential to be a leader in job creation for New York State." This is Libous' first year serving on the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council.

Governor Cuomo said, "For the second year in a row, the Regional Councils have been on the forefront of rebuilding New York State's economy. For too many years, top-down economic development policies have failed communities across the state and not truly invested in the unique resources and strengths of each of New York's regions. Now a new, bottom-up approach is in place that brings local communities together to chart their own economic destiny. The second round of Regional Economic Development Council awards will deliver funding for critical projects and investments in communities across our state, helping put New Yorkers back to work and rebuilding our economy."

After finishing last among the 10 regions last year, receiving $49.4 million from the state, the Council submitted a new plan to the Governor's Office for the second round of awards. This plan focused on job growth through development of cutting-edge technology in energy efficiency and renewable energy through partnerships with higher education institutions like Binghamton University. The plan focused on developing the region's transportation, industrial and healthcare infrastructures. The plan also focused on community revitalization, promoting strengthening local agriculture and training for local unemployed workers.

What this means for Tioga County:

- $250,000 to the Nichols Revitalization Project: Tioga County will renovate seven buildings in the Village of Nichols. The award will be used for streetscape improvements, and interior and exterior renovations to six commercial and four residential units.

- $110,000 to Tioga County Local Development Corporation to highlight and promote the many outdoor and healthy experiences a visitor can have in the Finger Lakes vacation region increasing visitation to and overnight stays in the region.

- $80,240 to Broome Board of Cooperative Educational Services (Broome BOCES) will train 40 unemployed workers as Certified Nurses Aides. For more details on the plan, visit regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/southern-tier or tomlibous.com.