Radio Interview | First News with Keeler in the Morning on WIBX 950am
In a recent interview with Bill Keeler, NY 22 Congressional District candidate Martin Babinec shared more about his upbringing in Little Falls, NY, his experience in creating jobs and the need to create more opportunities for the 500,000 college and university students in Upstate New York. Here are some experts.
Growing up here in Little Falls, which is a great community, not just scenic and with a lot of amenities for a small town, but this is a community where people help each other.
After college working with Navy Exchanges outside the U.S., really helped give me some perspective, not only for the important contributions and sacrifices our military make on our behalf, but the opportunity to live in other countries and understand a perspective of the world that was so important.
I tell people often times that even though I built a big company that has been very successful, if I tried to start that company in Upstate New York with what I knew back in 1988 – same guy, same company, same ideas – there’s no way I would have succeeded. The difference really was the environment, and that’s helped lay the foundation for things that I’ve done here since then.
I looked at the assets that we have here and I thought there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be creating a lot more companies like I was used to seeing, not only in Silicon Valley, but in the other locations where we had offices as well.
Just in NY 22, we have a dozen colleges that collectively enroll 60,000 people, and you layer on top of that the area universities out of Albany, Syracuse – I mean Upstate overall has over 100 colleges with about a half a million college students, it’s a big number.
A high degree of STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), a lot of research that is being done. You have a strong industrial base, very high quality workforce, and of course as we know, a very high quality of life. These are ingredients that should allow us to have more people starting and creating companies in the new industries, and yet we don’t.
In 2010 I started a nonprofit, Upstate Venture Connect, that has that as its goal, of helping individuals and entrepreneurs and young companies in these new industries get started and get connected to the right resources that will help in that journey. And they in turn create the kind of jobs that will help them retain our top talent, which we know is vital for continued growth in this region.
Why did you decide to run for Congress?
I want to continue this journey in helping others create the kind of jobs we want to have in this district, and to be able to do that in a way that is very different from what our politicians talk about. I’m not a politician and instead a guy that has a lot of experience in helping others create jobs, and have a track record in how to do that. After assessing the landscape on the Republican side I decided I would be better served to run as an Independent because I have the chance to really define myself, without the labels, and sometimes the restrictions, that come with working inside the party structure, especially in this election environment we have this year.
Who will you be voting for in the presidential election?
I don’t have the opportunity to pick the president. I have to work with whoever will be elected, and I’m still taking it all in.