The award recognized the county's "innovative and effective useof incentives in the economic development of Dutchess County,"DCEDC officials said. In particular, the magazine focused on thecounty's use of the Poughkeepsie/Dutchess Economic DevelopmentZone, now named the Empire Zone, which offers tax credits andincentives to businesses of all sizes.

"To be selected for a top-three position in an internationalcompetition for the effective use of incentives as an economicdevelopment tool is highly gratifying," says Kathleen SullivanNorat, president of the DCEDC. "The Empire Zone has served DutchessCounty well. Recent enhancements by Governor (George) Pataki makethe program even more effective in creating new jobs."

The use of the Empire Zone helped secure the attraction of theGap to build a massive distribution and warehouse facility, whichwill create 2,270 new jobs when completed, the retention of PhilipsSemiconductors operations and 950 jobs and IBM's selection ofDutchess County for its $2.5 billion semiconductor chipmanufacturing plant, county officials note.

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John Jordan

John Jordan is a veteran journalist with 36 years of print and digital media experience.