An area publication, the Business Review out of Latham, last month reported Gloversville has the highest poverty rate in the state, based on a category of census data. The analysis comes as no shock. People who live in and around Gloversville already know many residents of the city are struggling. According to census data reported on the U.S. Census website, the percentage of "persons below poverty level" in Gloversville is 27.5 percent, compared with the statewide percentage of 14.2 percent.
Another publication, Forbes, last month reported something about our region that shows a much brighter picture. The Forbes list of the Best Cities for Jobs has the Albany/Schenectady area near the top, at fourth in the nation. Forbes highlights GE's research and development campus, alternative-energy division and new battery factory in Schenectady. Forbes also points out GlobalFoundries' construction in Malta of a chip-fabrication plant, which is expected to employ around 1,600 people.
Instead of dwelling on the negative of poverty, the residents and leaders of Gloversville should look at the potential for positive change.
The Forbes report is good news for the area. Albany, Malta and Schenectady are a short distance from Gloversville. A drive to Schenectady takes only about 45 minutes.
Gloversville, the rest of Fulton County and neighboring Montgomery County can benefit from growth in the Capital District as long as our localities stay focused. Affordable housing, good schools, light traffic, low rents, industrial park space, historic sites and outdoor recreation are just some of the reasons for people and businesses to come to our area.
Let's not get stuck on the poverty issue. Use it as a motivation to pull together and embrace strategies that will improve the local economy.