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Ithaca Area Economic Development holds annual meeting, highlighting regional growth

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  • Staff Report 

Ithaca Area Economic Development (IAED) held its annual meeting on May 15 at the Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons. Nearly 100 business leaders, community partners, and elected officials gathered to review IAED’s 2023 achievements and learn about future projects. Presentations from IAED President Heather McDaniel and Chris Montgomery, Director of Business Affairs for SUNY Educational Opportunity Center, emphasized IAED’s role in regional partnerships, particularly around Micron in Syracuse and the Binghamton battery tech hub.


Heather McDaniel remarked, “Our annual meeting was insightful and inspiring. This area is on the precipice of tremendous change, and IAED is at the forefront of harnessing the opportunity to improve economic prosperity for all.” In 2023, IAED stimulated $163 million in private investment, $10.3 million in new property taxes, and $14.5 million in new payroll. The organization also facilitated the construction of 294 housing units and contributed $913,000 to the Community Housing Development Fund.

IAED’s Direct-to-Work training program, expanding from manufacturing to building trades, was highlighted. Micron is expected to create 5,600 construction jobs over the next 20 years. Cathy Hart, Ithaca Marriott General Manager and IAED Board President, praised IAED, stating, “IAED’s breadth and scope is amazing. Their success in workforce training programs is making an impact on important regional initiatives.”