The Industrial Development Agency will support more workforce development, initiate targeted outreach for MWBE’s and small businesses and align its focus with the upcoming Plan Forward comprehensive plan.

ROCHESTER, NY — Robust workforce development, better support for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) and a focus on meeting the needs and concerns of our community are key priorities of a modernized County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA), Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced today.

“As we pivot from the pandemic to our economic future, it’s common sense to reimagine every tool we have that helps grow our economy, create good jobs and provide people with pathways to prosperity,” said County Executive Bello. “To meet today’s challenges, we can’t have an IDA that focuses on yesterday’s needs. This three-year strategy to align COMIDA’s priorities with the demands of our 21st Century economy will help more people unlock career opportunities, equitably support our vital small businesses and make certain our economic development efforts help provide the jobs and industries our community wants and needs.”

The COMIDA modernization action plan was adopted today by unanimous vote of the agency’s board of directors.

Immediately, COMIDA will allocate $2.5 million for workforce development initiatives that help train job seekers for open positions in high-demand industries and develop a pipeline for ongoing funding to support job training and career advancement programs.

Over the longer term, the agency will also: work with the county’s Department of Diversity & Inclusion to create initiatives that focus on MWBE; create new programs specifically geared toward small business expansion; act as a bridge between critical community stakeholders and businesses; evaluate and potentially overhaul existing job creation requirements for projects seeking property tax abatements; and partner with the Monroe County Industrial Development Corporation (MCIDC) to support small businesses with loans and grants.

Additionally, when the county’s Plan Forward comprehensive plan — currently in early development — is complete, COMIDA will update its policy for determining which projects may qualify for financial assistance to align with the comprehensive plan’s goals.

“I thank COMIDA Chair Ann Burr and all COMIDA board members for their foresight and vision, and for recognizing the key role COMIDA can and will play in making Monroe County a stronger, more equitable community,” said County Executive Bello.