The goal of the center, also known as CUE, will be to reshape the regional economy, and to build wealth within the urban community by being the hub for urban entrepreneurial programs and research, RIT officials stated.
The school has been renovating the building for the past two years, to use it for housing CUE’s programs, after real estate developers Amy and Bob Tait donated the building to the school in 2012.
“We are deeply grateful to Sen. Schumer, Congresswoman Slaughter, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for providing the federal and state funding that enabled us to give new life to this beautiful building, as a hub of economic development activity,” RIT President Bill Destler stated.
In addition, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) helped secure $1.5 million in federal funds to renovate the building.
“When RIT first asked me to lead the charge to secure a $1.5 million federal grant needed to transform this historic building for CUE, I made it top priority,” Schumer stated. “With new entrepreneurs, employees, RIT staff, and student co-ops together working under the same roof, CUE is not only an anchor for Rochester’s Downtown Innovation Zone, but will be a springboard for new urban entrepreneurs, that, once successful, can expand to existing downtown storefronts, and push Rochester’s economic development to new heights.”
According to Destler, the program will provide mentoring and resources to individuals who wish to start a small business or other services in the area, and to date, the program has helped over 400 individuals.
“RIT is proud of the work being done at CUE, and its role in the ongoing renaissance of downtown Rochester, and the urban economy,” he stated.
RIT spent an estimated $2 million total, renovating the 5,000-square-foot CUE offices, and 58 percent of those expenditures went to women or minority-owned contractors and suppliers, the school stated.
Previously, CUE programs had been operating out of the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center, and RIT’s Henrietta Campus.
Visit http://www.rit.edu/news/story.php?id=55409 for additional information regarding the center.