Cayuga County, New York is located in the central New York region 25 miles west of Syracuse. The total population is 79,526 with 28,000 residents living in Auburn, New York and the remaining living within 23 towns and villages. The Cayuga County workforce is 36,800, with an unemployment rate that has averaged 8.3% in 2010 versus 5.0% in 2001. The percentage of persons below the poverty line was 12.5% in 2008 versus 13.7% state wide. Nearly 80% of Cayugans are high school graduates with 15% possessing a college degree or more compared to a 27% college degree rate for New Yorkers. Median household income in 2008 was $47,308 versus $55,980 for New York State.
Major manufacturers include the McQuay International (HVAC equipment), MacKenzie Childs (high end interior furnishings), and NuCor Steel. Welch Allyn and Tessy Plastics are major Cayuga employers despite their Onondoga County locations. Cayuga County is a state leader in the production of dairy products, corn and soybeans. Cayuga County and Auburn possess many nationally ranked “Green” facilities with a progressive platform for additional initiatives underway.
In 2010, the Finger Lakes region was again cited as a Top 5 international tourism destination. Picturesque Aurora, New York, Cayuga Lake and Owasco Lake are popular destinations. Northern Cayuga County, along the shores of Lake Ontario also boasts of several vibrant tourist destinations such as the Sterling Renaissance Festival, Fair Haven Beach State Park and the Town of Fair Haven with Little Sodus Bay.
Auburn was recently ranked by Forbes Magazine as a leading location to raise a family. Downtown has been undergoing an exciting revitalization based on its impressive collection of museums, historical sites, local live theater, architectural buildings and the upcoming emergence of a major musical theater festival planned for Summer 2012. The festival is targeted to draw up to 100,000 people per season. Moro’s Table restaurant was recently cited by Travel and Leisure Magazine for excellence and Auburn is home to the Single A minor league team, the Doubledays.
In education, Wells College, Cayuga Community College and the Cayuga-Onondoga BOCES provide high caliber curriculums that are responsive to an ever changing economic climate. The New York State Labor Department operates its “Cayuga Works” office within the Cayuga Community College campus, which provides residents with a seamless linkage between employment and education. In the spirit of this “One Stop” concept, CEDA is located in the offices of the Stardust Foundation in Auburn, co-locating with the Cayuga Chamber of Commerce, SCORE and the NYS Small Business Development Center.