In Struggling Region, Colleges Provide a Lifeline for 'Berkeley of the East'

Besides its beautiful gorges, Ithaca is famous as the home of Cornell University (and Ithaca College). Could the way they've insulated the city from the economic troubles that've plagued upstate New York provide a model for other struggling cities?

"Led by a young mayor with an inspiring back story and an idealist’s approach — he talks about sidewalks in philosophical terms — Ithaca is the upstate exception: a successful liberal enclave in a largely conservative region troubled by unemployment woes, declining or stagnant population, and post-Detroit talk of bankruptcy," writes Jesse McKinley.

"Much of [the city's] optimism comes from a reciprocal relationship with two institutions — Cornell University and, to a lesser degree, Ithaca College — which have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the economy and created thousands of jobs for everyone from professors to landscapers, and also fostered new companies."

"Ithaca’s model of education as an economic engine is one that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has made a priority this year as a strategy for all of upstate, where there are dozens of universities."

Full Story: Colleges Help Ithaca Thrive in a Region of Struggles


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