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ERIE21 is a bold, visionary initiative designed to address the region’s twin problems of persistently high poverty in Syracuse and the inability of employers to attract and retain the skilled workers needed to fill current job openings as well as those resulting from the looming exodus of baby boomers from the workforce.   Serving as both a comprehensive and a long-term strategy, ERIE21 delivers early intervention (in the middle school grades) and provides ongoing support to students in high school and college to strengthen the region’s capacity to develop a pipeline that can generate homegrown talent to feed the growing demand for computational, software and engineering talent.

Led by Le Moyne College, ERIE21 capitalizes upon the strengths of key educational, business, and public sector partners seeking to make inroads against the City’s persistently high rate of poverty while simultaneously addressing the workforce needs of regional employers seeking employees who possess software and computational skills more closely aligned with the innovation economy.

Just as the original Erie Canal catapulted Syracuse into an era of unparalleled economic growth in the nineteenth century by unleashing an unprecedented expansion of commerce, so ERIE21 holds great potential for sustained positive economic impact by propelling residents into the middle and upper class through educational supports designed to prepare them for the jobs of the innovation economy.  The total direct, indirect, and induced economic impact of ERIE21 in Onondaga County over 10 years stands at $1.8 billion in economic activity, including 1,973 jobs and $645 million as projected by Incentis Group, LLC from Denver, Colorado.