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      Reinvention of Syracuse, $1.4 billion in projects underway

      M ore than one thousand business and community leaders packed the Oncenter in Syracuse Monday to hear about reinventing the local economy by embracing change.

      It was the annual meeting of Centerstate Corporation for Economic Opportunity. The audience heard from the president of Xerox Corporation, a company that adapted to change by reinventing itself. Xerox has moved from making copy machines into health care claims processing and transit fares like EZ Pass. Xerox President Kevin Warren told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon, "Although things might not have been stable or may not have been as successful in the past doesn't mean it has to stay that way... that's the beauty of change."

      Centerstate is pointing to $1.4 billion in public and private investment that is currently being poured into development projects in Syracuse such as the "Connective Corridor" to link Syracuse University to downtown Syracuse, major expansion at Upstate University Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital as well as $265 million in renovations to turn downtown Syracuse into a largely residential urban neighborhood. Centerstate's Robert Simpson told Kenyon, "In order to be successful in reinventing yourself, you have to invest. Communities that are too timid, that don't act quickly enough, that aren't willing to invest, are not going to make the transition to the new economy successfully."

      Simpson quoted Charles Darwin, "It's not the strongest of species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."