National Governors Association Cites SUNY Cobleskill as Rural Anchor Institution

SUNY Cobleskill is cited in a recently-published report by the National Governors Association (NGA). “A Governor’s Action Guide to Achieving Good Jobs For All Americans” features SUNY Cobleskill as a rural anchor institution. The College appears in a chapter titled “Rural Resurgence: Empowering the Rural Workforce.” A section of the report is below:

Create Partnerships with Rural Anchor Institutions

Anchor institutions serve an important role in rural communities and can strengthen these communities. Anchor institutions are major institutions with deep roots and extensive investments in a community. Often the largest employers in their region, these institutions can include hospitals, universities, community colleges and libraries. Because of their size, anchor institutions can invest significant financial and intellectual resources to strengthen the long-term success of their communities.

Governors can work with the education anchor institutions to create skills development programs that respond to local industry needs. For example, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo used state funds to partner with the State University of New York (SUNY) system to coordinate activities in rural communities. The SUNY site in rural Cobleskill, New York, created an Institute for Rural Vitality by using New York’s network of regional Economic Development Councils and StartUp New York, the governor’s economic development initiative. To address issues faced by rural communities, the institute developed centers to address key challenges and solutions in the region, including the Center for Farm and Food Entrepreneurship, the Center for Business Development and the Center for Art and Culture. Through these centers, students can conduct research, start businesses and complete internships with local organizations. Local high school students also can take courses on campus and earn college credit. SUNY Cobleskill’s programs show how governors can partner with local postsecondary anchor institutions to activate the potential of rural communities.


The report singles out the Institute for Rural Vitality, for its ability to initiate and sustain involvement with area communities. StartUp NY, with which SUNY Cobleskill and the Institute partner on numerous initiatives, as well as postsecondary student outreach programs, are also introduced.

Applied learning is characteristic of the opportunities that the Institute establishes for students, through programs and partnerships. The Institute’s five centers provide students chances to engage in hands-on learning in settings that vary by initiative, as well as by center.

The report also addresses the significance of connections institutions like SUNY Cobleskill form with governmental initiatives. Governor Andrew Cuomo established 10 Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) in New York in 2011. Through nine rounds of the initiative, more than $750 million has been awarded in state economic development resources. In December, 2018, in the most recent round of grant awards, four projects with SUNY Cobleskill ties earned REDC funding. These include CADE Farm & Food Business Incubator programming (Mohawk Valley Farm & Food Business Incubator, via the Institute’s Center for Food and Farm Entrepreneurship) and Empire State Greenhouses collaboration (START UP NY partnership, via the Institute’s Center for Business Development).