This morning, Chamber Presidents from the Capital Region left Albany International Airport for Washington D.C. for a series of meetings with US Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand as well as US Congressmen Paul Tonko and Chris Gibson. Besides Todd Shimkus from the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, the other Chamber executives on the visit includes: Mark Eagan of the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce; Linda Hillman of the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce; Chuck Steiner of the Chamber of Schenectady County; Peter Aust of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce; Dave Colby of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce; Pete Bardunias of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County and Tom Nolte of the Colonie Chamber of Commerce.
These chambers collectively represent more than 10,000 members in the Capital Region. They will discuss a range of issues of significant importance to businesses throughout the Capital Region. The legislative agenda includes: support for Federal funding of the proposed Exit 3 off the Northway/I-87 to provide direct access to Albany International Airport; federal support for research and development to be conducted at the Capital Region’s colleges and universities; and improvements to federal workforce training programs.
This is the second year in a row that this delegation of Chamber executives has traveled together to Washington D.C. After last year’s visit, the region’s Congressional delegation responded to the group’s legislative agenda by supporting funding for improvements to our region’s passenger rail service as well as by securing a $750,000 federal grant to help market Albany International Airport to attract more carriers, direct routes and lower fares. This year the group will meet for the first time with Alexander Cochran who is the Special Counsel to Governor Cuomo representing the Governor in Washington, D.C.
“Sometimes you have to make noise to get things done,” said Shimkus. “By joining forces, we are speaking out in support of initiatives that will be of benefit to more than 10,000 businesses in seven counties. Last year, everyone in Washington D.C. that we met with was impressed by this positive partnership and we hope this year’s meetings will be just as productive.”