Representatives from the North Country Chamber of Commerce, Plattsburgh International Airport, Quebec’s Delegate General, Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake, and more, met with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer with the aim of making sure local priorities are on the table.
“We focus on what has come to be known in Washington as the North Country Hot List,” said North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas.
The Hot List is a set of region-specific economic development projects and issues, like the Canadian border.
Some of the main priorities that were discussed in the meeting included the strong relationship between Quebec and the North Country.
“We had the Delegate General of Quebec, which is their chief representative to the United States, there to talk about all of the strategic minerals that Quebec has that we need in the U.S. and the opportunities that it brings to the North Country,” Douglas said.
The needs of transportation companies like Alstom and Novabus were also discussed in the meeting, along with designating the Plattsburgh International Airport as an official Port of Entry so Clinton County no longer has to pay fees to have customs services.
Douglas said these meetings often bring key results to the North Country, including $500,000 in funding for job training programs through the Chamber.
According to Douglas, federal and state funding for the new YMCA in Plattsburgh was able to become a reality thanks to Senator Schumer and Congresswoman Stefanik.
He said relationships with elected officials on both sides of the aisle are key to workforce and economic development in the North Country.