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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Tech Valley...

Tech Valley [fill in the blank]: I can't speak to how well "Tech Valley" is doing in the global information economy, but I'm pretty sure that Summer 2005 will be remembered as the period of time that the phrase "Tech Valley" exploded in SmAlbany. We now have Tech Valley Homes Real Estate signs everwhere, I'm seeing Tech Valley Times newspapers lying around like they're Metrolands, and even the mousepads at the Colonie Town Library now have ads for Tech Valley Communications. And, of course, the proposed Tech Valley high is already running tons of summer programs for kids. Basically, the region has been able to reach critical mass with the catchy hi-tech name. Now we just need to get there with the actual hi-tech. Luckily, I feel like there's a decent amount of inertia working in our favor - the media, the politicians, the universities, and the tech companies seem to be gung ho about SmAlbany.

Of course, I might just feel this way because my wife just finished a six-week internship down at the Albany nanotech business incubation park at SUNY Albany. She's a schoolteacher, and apparently the Albany-Colonie chamber of commerce - who coined the phrase tech-valley in 1998 - is willing to pay healthy sums so that teachers can get some tech experience and bring it back to the classrooms to excite the kids about jobs in the tech industries. She had a great time working for Infineon, but what amazed me was the media coverage - it seemed like everyday she was either on TV or in the newspaper, talking to someone about her summer job in tech valley. She's even got her picture on the cover of Business Review Albany this week. [Nice plug -ed. For who, Business Review?]

Next week, I think I'm going to take a serious dive into the changing economics of SmAlbany. I already promised a major piece on the Colonie Comprehensive Plan, and there's lots, both good and bad, to be said about all of this Tech Valley stuff. Stay tuned. [I'll get my pillow -ed. Now wait, I can make it exciting. Not this stuff -ed. We'll stick to the scandals, agreed?]
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