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Cuomo picks Conslato for biz council

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Queens Chamber of Commerce President Carol Conslato was tapped by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be a part of the city Economic Development Council, a body Cuomo created that he said would change the way state government and businesses stimulate regional economic development and create jobs.

Conslato serves as director of public affairs for Con Edison.

“We are taking a new approach to economic development that will send a clear message that New York is open for business,” Cuomo said in a statement. “For too long, one-size-fits-all economic development plans have ignored the unique assets and challenges of regions like New York City. With the regional councils, we will empower individuals to chart their own course for job creation and growth.”

Conslato is one of 22 so-called general members of the council, which is being co-chaired by CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein and Kenneth Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer of American Express.

“I think the governor is trying to get a cross-section of committee members who represent an array of small businesses, organized labor, education, community-based organizations,” Conslato said. “I think the chamber was appointed [to the council] because we represent that.”

The city Economic Development Council is one of 10 that Cuomo created.

The governor said the councils “represent a fundamental shift in the state’s approach to economic development, from a top-down development model to a community-based approach that emphasizes regions’ unique assets, harness local expertise and empowers each region to set plans and priorities.”

Cuomo said the councils are eligible to apply for $1 billion in state funding for projects “they determine to be part of their regional strategy.”

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said Cuomo’s plan “will put our state back on the right path to future prosperity.

“We are focusing on what our regions actually need, ensuring we keep businesses and jobs here in New York,” Duffy said. “The regional councils will enable every section of the state to prepare individualized economic plans and will make the regions the drivers of their own success.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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