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Strategic Framework & Organizational Goals
Based on Economic Development Clusters and Other Major Employers



Hospitality and Tourism

As defined by the U.S. Economic Development Agency (EDA), an economic cluster is a “geographic concentration of interconnected industries and supportive organizations that make regions uniquely competitive for jobs and private investment.”


Put more simply, it is a concentration of related industries on a particular location.  Clusters are comprised of manufacturers, their suppliers, support providers, academic and research institutions, and other key players.

For example, an automotive cluster can be comprised of car manufacturers, the parts suppliers, the transportation companies that deliver cars from the factory to dealerships, companies that specialize in research and development (such as those that focus on safety or fuel economy improvements) marketing agencies that specialize in automotive marketing, and numerous other related businesses.

Through the U.S. Cluster Mapping Website there is detailed industry cluster data for Schuyler County as well as any other counties in the United States.  SCOPED has used this and other data to create an economic development strategy based on the following three major economic industry clusters in Schuyler County: Fermentation, Agriculture, and Hospitalisty & Tourism.  Learn more about each individual cluster:


According to the New York Wine and Grape Foundation (2019), the New York State wine industry shows an economic impact of $6.65 billion, with 471 wineries active in the State and $2.4 billion in total taxes. 

With 27 wineries, Schuyler County has the 4th most wineries in the State of New York. Yet the fermentation cluster in Schuyler County is much greater than just wine production.

The fermentation cluster includes wineries, breweries, distilleries, cideries, yogurt producers, creameries, and any other facility that produces a fermenting product. This cluster also includes the other related businesses in the supply chain such as bottle manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, label makers and designers, transportation providers, and countless other businesses that are key to the production of fermented products.

This is a strong sector of our local economy and will continue to thrive on its own. By providing the right support and economic development infrastructure, this economic cluster will be able to grow at an even faster rate and add additional living-wage jobs.

SCOPED is specifically interested in facilitating the increased production of higher value-add products for the purpose of exporting outside of New York. This approach will bring net-new money into Schuyler County and support additional economic growth that will benefit the entire local economy.  This approach is also consistent with the economic development objectives of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council and aligns with the State of New York’s initiatives.

Further read:

2019 Economic Impact Study of the New York Wine and Grapes Industry (PDF)


Tourism is a significant economic driver in Schuyler County.

In 2020, travelers to Schuyler County spent nearly $34,000,000 tourism-related employment alone accounted for 6.6% of Schuyler County’s total employment. Schuyler County is the most dependent upon tourism, with 14% of all employment sustained by visitors. SCOPED is not a tourism promotion organization, and we strive to work with local partners to provide the economic development infrastructure that enables tourism and its long-term growth.

If you want to learn more about visiting Schuyler County or need assistance with marketing your business, please contact the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce.

To learn more about our efforts to support the growth of tourism through economic development initiatives that provide the necessary infrastructure, please visit our Project Seneca page.

Economic Impact of Tourists


Agriculture is important to Schuyler County because it contributes to the economic growth in Schuyler County. According to Schuyler County Agricultural & Farmland Protection Plan (2020), nearly 219,000 acres in Schuyler County -- approximately 31% of the County’s land area -- is farmland or pasture. More than 65% of the soils in Schuyler County are classified as either prime or soils of statewide importance. 

Agriculture Clusters include various types and scales of production, markets, and value-added processing in addition to the work on farms, ranches, and fields. Most likely provide resources and equipment for growing or harvesting crops and processing, packaging, or using crops or animal products to prepare other food products. Schuyler County is home to agricultural innovation. With the support from Cornell University, SCOPED has been experimenting and advancing ag-tech entrepreneurship by spearheading the efforts of introducing new crops into the region. 

Due to the significance of agriculture to Schuyler County, SCOPED is dedicated to supporting ag-tech and agriculture-related businesses. Please contact us for more information. 

Further Read:

USDA Rural Development Summary of Major Programs (PDF)

Schuyler County Agricultural & Farmland Protection Plan (PDF)

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