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‘What’s Upstate’ aims to showcase best of region

Thomas Caputo
Staff writer
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Posted 7/15/22

Inspiring people. Endless opportunity. Boundless adventure. These are some of the words used by local organizations to describe what life is like in the Mohawk Valley.

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‘What’s Upstate’ aims to showcase best of region

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UTICA — Inspiring people. Endless opportunity. Boundless adventure. These are some of the words used by local organizations to describe what life is like in the Mohawk Valley.

With an increase in population and business investments in the region, officials say the Mohawk Valley is experiencing an economic growth. The recent opening of the silicon carbide fabrication facility Wolfspeed, as well as major projects around the area that will soon be opening like the Wynn Hospital and the Nexus Center, are expected to continue the growth of the region.

To address the growing need to introduce the Mohawk Valley to people outside of the region, several local organizations came together to establish a comprehensive website called ‘What’s Upstate,’ which can be used as a recruitment and retention tool to provide people with an overview of the region and what it provides.

The website is a collaborative project from the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce, the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce, the Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce, Oneida County Tourism, The Community Foundation, The Genesis Group, Mohawk Valley EDGE and The Fountainhead Group.

“We’re a resource website instead of a tourism website,” said Sean Farrell, special projects officer for the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce. “We do partner with Oneida County Tourism, but we’re more than that. We really focus on the people here, the culture, the community. Our website is very storytelling-driven. We want to hear from people, their voices need to be heard and we want to show the diversity in communities that we also have here.”

The website features categories that showcase opportunities to live, work, explore and tour the region. ‘What’s Upstate’ goes in depth on the neighborhoods, educational institutions, sports, entertainment and even the famous food and infamous weather in the region. The website also spotlights stories from both natives and transplants living in the area.

While the specific location of upstate New York has been debated by people from various regions all across the state, ‘What’s Upstate’ is looking to own the term by using it as a part of their brand while representing the Mohawk Valley region. Website developers say “in the general sense, upstate New York is the area north of the New York City metropolitan area, but in our world, upstate New York is Oneida and Herkimer counties and the immediate outlying areas. We’re owning it.”

Officials believe recruitment and retention tools like ‘What’s Upstate’ will help ensure the region’s progress as the Mohawk Valley continues to grow.

“We are on a great upswing right now, the economy is doing well locally,” Farrell said. “The need now is to find people to work in these jobs that we are creating. The job growth and the expansion of businesses here have been pretty incredible over the last several years. Bringing more people to the area can only create a better economy for everybody involved.”

For more information, visit: whatsupstateny.com

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