Hartwick College Receives REDC Award to Support Craft Food and Beverage Initiative

December 11, 2013

This morning, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the third round of Regional Economic Development Council awards through the Consolidated Funding Application process. Hartwick College was approved for a grant from the Empire State Development Corporation to fund its proposed Center for Craft Food and Beverage.

The approval of this submission follows two on-campus meetings Hartwick College President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich convened last spring with representatives of the local craft food and beverage community to discuss how Hartwick might support the further development of this regional industry. The President continues to work with local and regional economic development groups as well as faculty in economics, business, chemistry and biology in order to best leverage Hartwick's resources and related areas of expertise.

"The fortunes of Hartwick College and the local community are inextricably connected," said Drugovich. "We support the goal of having this region become a magnet for craft food and beverage enterprise. The Center for Craft Food and Beverage will address the needs of this growing business sector, and provide another opportunity for Hartwick to leverage its considerable intellectual resources to the economic benefit of the region."

In 2011, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo created 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. According Governor Cuomo's website, "A centerpiece of the Governor's strategy to jumpstart the economy and create jobs, the Regional Councils were put in place in 2011 to redesign the state's approach to economic development from a top-down model to a community-based, performance-driven approach. The initiative empowers community, business, and academic leaders, as well as members of the public in each region of the state, to develop strategic plans specifically tailored to their region's unique strengths and resources in order create jobs and support economic growth."

At Hartwick, New York State's first Center for Craft Food and Beverage will be created as a resource center for testing, business development, and education that will support small and mid-size breweries, wineries, distilleries, farms, and other craft food and beverage producers that are part of upstate New York's vitally important agricultural sector.

The project also addresses Governor Cuomo's goal of developing collaborations between higher education and business to support economic development throughout New York State.

Hartwick's primary mission is to educate students for purposeful lives and careers. The development of the craft food and beverage industry locally presents unique opportunities for research and experiential learning for Hartwick's students, as well as jobs in emerging fields for its graduates.

The Center for Craft Food and Beverage will effectively lower costs, enable local businesses to more effectively produce, promote, and distribute their goods, and will provide professional development opportunities to small businesses, all of which will ultimately support business growth and job creation.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031