Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo talked a lot about jobs and the economy in her first State of the County address on Wednesday night.
She delivered it at the site of what will be MCC’s new downtown campus this fall, next to Kodak’s headquarters on State Street. Dinolfo first took office in January 2016, but did not give a State of the County address last year.
A lot of the speech had to do with Dinolfo listing various accomplishments, but there were a few new initiatives she mentioned, including something called LadderZup. It is a partnership with MCC, designed to help match local people with available jobs.
“This exciting program will recruit, train, and place workers into the most in-demand careers in our region. LadderZup works on the concept that education and training enable us to move up the economic ladder and provide tailor-made training to achieve that goal,“ Dinolfo said.
Dinolfo also announced a re-launch of COMIDA, the county’s industrial development agency. It will now be known as "Imagine Monroe,” and will have an associated website, imaginemonroe.org
Dinolfo also spent some time discuss a program designed to help veterans get jobs.
“Every business working with Imagine Monroe will be linked to our Veterans Service Agency providing a direct connection between veterans and employers who are looking to hire.”
Another initiative unveiled by Dinolfo involves a “job creation leadership forum.” She says the county will host monthly meetings with local business leaders and elected officials in different towns and villages on a rotating basis.
“It’s about helping businesses expand and address needs such as infrastructure, access to sewer or water or public transportation. Ideally, these forums will facilitate a rapid and informed response to the local needs of our local businesses,” Dinolfo said.
Mayor Lovely Warren commented on the address saying the city and county are one community who strive to work together, and that the focus on jobs is essential.
"We're moving forward. As a community we're looking up, our future is bright. We have reignited Rochester. And Rochester is moving to a place where residents are being employed, where we have businesses that are not only growing here but they're relocating here."
Warren was also a fan of the "Imagine Monroe" re-launch saying it shows how the county is no longer looking at the past, but moving towards the future.