Portal:Capital District

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Capital District

Map of New York's Capital District. The Capital District is an imprecise geographical area in upstate New York centered around the state capital of Albany.

The Capital District is a region in upstate New York that generally refers to the four counties surrounding Albany, the capital of the state: Albany County, Schenectady County, Rensselaer County, and Saratoga County. Often the other counties of the Albany-Schenectady-Amsterdam Combined Statistical Area and Greene County are included, especially for economic and demographic compilations and regional planning.

The Capital District is notable for many historical and industrial events. The Battle of Saratoga and the Albany Plan of Union are two historical events from before American independence which are now considered of national and sometimes also of international importance. Many multinational corporations were founded in the Capital District including New York Central Railroad, American Express, General Electric, American Locomotive Company, and International Paper. The Capital District was first settled by the Dutch in the early 1600s and came under British control in 1664. Albany has been the permanent capital of the state of New York since 1797.


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Map of New York highlighting Tech Valley.svg
Tech Valley is a marketing moniker for the eastern part of the US state of New York. It includes the Hudson Valley and Capital District, along with portions of the Mohawk Valley and North Country. Originated in 1998 to promote the greater Albany area as a high-tech competitor to regions such as Silicon Valley, it has since grown to represent the counties in New York from IBM's Westchester County plants in the south to the Canadian border to north. Tech Valley encompasses 19 counties.

At first the name Tech Valley was derided as over-enthusiastic self-boosterism, even if the area was already home to science and engineering schools like Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Union College; incubators like the Rensselaer Technology Park; or world-class research and development sites like the Benét Laboratories, GE Global Research, and Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory. But SEMATECH's decision in 2002 to put its new plant at the University at Albany began Tech Valley's rise in the public's perception. In the 2000s, the area saw notable growth in the high-tech sector, including the addition of SUNY Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, the opening of the Luther Forest Technology Campus, and most recently, the decision by GlobalFoundries to open a chip manufacturing plant near Saratoga Springs.

In an effort to empower the upcoming generation, local leaders and educators saw it fit to open, in 2007, Tech Valley High School, an innovative project-based learning public high school populated by students from across the two BOCES surrounding Albany. Somewhat humorously, in 2004, when Bill Gates was asked by a Times Union reporter what he thought about Tech Valley, Gates responded that he had no idea where it was; two years later, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would donate $400,000 to fund the new high school. Additionally, Hudson Valley Community College will be opening a semiconductor and alternative energy education center in time for the fall 2010 semester, a move that may have been a deciding factor for President Barack Obama to host a speech about higher education, and specifically community colleges, on HVCC's campus in September 2009.

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Joseph Allen Portrait.png
Joseph H. Allen (September 5, 1821 – April 24, 1884) was an industrial businessman, an officer in the Civil War, and a town supervisor of Brunswick, New York. Allen was born in Alburg, Vermont, to parents of British descent and left home at an early age. After several business ventures, he became successful in the auger and hoe business, selling mainly to the American South. He successfully ran for supervisor of the Town of Brunswick in 1856 and justice of the peace in 1861. At the beginning of the Civil War, his sales plummeted so he closed his business and enlisted in the Union Army. Allen was wounded multiple times during his service and ended his career at the rank of lieutenant colonel. He returned home to reopen his factory, which was instrumental to the industrial success of the hamlet of Eagle Mills in the mid to late 19th century. He died in 1884 at the age of 62.

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