Dinolfo starts rolling out her 2020 budget 

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo has renewed Budget Week again this year - three days of talking up what she views as the highlights of her 2020 spending plan - and she opened Monday by discussing jobs programs.

The full budget, or anything beyond its basic $1.2 billion figure, isn’t available yet. Dinolfo will talk about the budget as it relates to families and children on Tuesday. She is scheduled to present the full budget proposal and make an unspecified announcement on Thursday.

While Dinolfo has rolled out her budget in bits and pieces in the past, the timing this year is noteworthy given that she is up for re-election and is facing a strong challenge from her Democratic opponent, County Clerk Adam Bello.

The budget isn’t due to the Legislature until November 15.

During her Monday news conference, she outlined the business and workforce development programs her proposed budget would fund. One big highlight: construction on the new Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center, an industrial training facility that’s a joint effort between the county and Monroe Community College, will begin in 2020. The state is providing $11.4 million to pay for the facility.

Much of the county executive’s presentation focused on business and workforce development programs that are already in place, though she mentioned a few new programs her proposed 2020 budget would launch. They include:
  • Business Boost workshops, which are seminars geared toward local employers that want to expand.
  • Veterans Employment and Training Program, which will be open to unemployed or underemployed veterans who visit the county’s Veterans Service Agency for a consultation. They’ll receive job placement and job coaching services.
  • Match Up Monroe, which is a county-coordinated program where students at Monroe County colleges can get paid internships and no-cost housing for a summer.
  • Rockets, a collaborative effort with Rochester Museum and Science Center and the Greater Rochester After-School Alliance to bring interactive STEM education to after-school programs in the City of Rochester. The county would provide $60,000 in funding for the efforts.

Dinolfo also used the event to officially open the new offices of the county’s economic development department on the first floor of City Place, 50 West Main Street. The old offices were on the building’s eighth floor, a location that Dinolfo said wasn’t “what anyone would call accessible.”

The county bought City Place last year for $10 million after years of leasing it. It spent $2.4 million to renovate the building, which Dinolfo said now has ground floor offices, meeting spaces, and collaborative work areas.

“It’s easy to make promises about the future, especially in the middle of a campaign," Bellow said in a statement. "But when you look at Cheryl Dinolfo’s record on economic development, it includes tax breaks for affluent health clubs, misleading job creation numbers, and using economic development resources to hurt businesses like I-Square. That’s the Dinolfo way."

Bello also touted his endorsement by the Committee for a Strong Economy, the Rochester Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee.

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