History in Tompkins County
In the 20th century, industry/manufacturing was a large part of the economy with companies such as Emerson Power Transmission, Ithaca Gun Company, Borg Warner Automotive, and General Electric. Lead contamination from gun company manufacturing caused its Fall Creek location to shut down in the early 2000s. Ithaca also has a relatively high cost of living (read about this here).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for Ithaca, NY, as of September 2016, there is a 3.7% unemployment rate in Tompkins County. The industrial manufacturing trend has decreased over the past 16 years. Currently, most jobs in Ithaca are in Education and Health Services. The Forbes Business Report ranked Ithaca #6 for best small places for business and careers.
There is a huge movement for a living wage for workers, revitalizing downtown in the commons, encouraging and promoting small business start-ups in Ithaca, and promoting local shopping.
Local Economy Volunteer Opportunities
Alternatives Federal Credit Union is dedicated to economic justice. Alternatives Federal Credit Union is a Community Development Financial Institution, dedicated to building wealth and creating economic opportunity for underserved people and communities. The Credit Union is only one of five corporations that make up the Alternatives Group. The Credit Union offers economic opportunity to local Tompkins County businesses and aspiring business owners.
The Downtown Ithaca Alliance is a registered not for profit tasked with the revitalization, development, promotion, and management of downtown Ithaca. They offer internships and services in the local area in addition. The alliance creates many work plans, all of which include -- business retention and development, government relations and the environment, marketing and member services, and community special events.
Ithacash is a registered B-Corp and is a social entrepreneurship endeavor to improve Ithaca’s local economy by introducing a new local currency and credit. Ithaca previously had it’s own currency called “Ithaca Hours” and proved to the world that a local currency could thrive. Ithacash offers positions, internships, and opportunities for involvement to Ithaca College & Cornell University Students.
The Chain Works District is a new proposed district in Ithaca to be a living, working, and play space. This district is proposed in the old Emerson plant across from Ithaca College on Route 96B. The local government and concerned citizens have been hotly contesting the economic and human impacts of this project for years, and there has been an office set up in the Commons to manage the comprehensive proposal and it’s fruition.
Local First Ithaca brings together people, businesses, and organizations to create a successful local economy that uses resources, experiences, and inclusiveness to create a thriving and ultimately liveable community.
Promoting sustainability and awareness for students in business as well as across campus, through education and community involvement. Our goal is to use the power of business to implement social change. Through NetImpact we will be able to promote the communication and connection between students and professionals with the same goals.
Advancing sustainable action on and off campus through building awareness of green practices. Our goal is to lead a business focused movement by developing initiatives aimed towards improving all sustainability facets (environmental, economic and social) on campus and in the Ithaca community. Through the use of connections between other NetImpact chapters and professionals with similar interests, NetImpact seeks to change sustainability from choice to necessity.
The Young Entrepreneurs Organization will enable entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. We will provide you with the best mentoring, networking, and educational opportunities; maximizing the true value in each and every person. Our goal is to help you network with successful entrepreneurs and allow them to help you as a young entrepreneur gain the knowledge to be successful with your big idea.
The IC Student Chapter of NABA unites students with similar interests and motivates them to excel in a professional environment. By craving the path and giving them the tools necessary to achieve success through workshops and a visit to the Eastern Regional Conference. IC NABA’s strong relationship with alumni allows this organization to prosper.
180 Degrees Consulting at Ithaca College is a chapter of the largest student-run international consultancy. Our organization provides pro-bono consulting services to local non-profit organizations, while building the skill-sets and experience of our student consultants. We consult on a semester basis and provide training and support to all of our consultants.