Congratulations to the Graduates

The Independence Day, Fourth of July holiday means summer is in full swing. It also puts a punctuation point to weeks of graduation ceremonies and events.

What an interesting and challenging time to be grabbing your diploma and entering the world.

College graduates face a job market that can be described as uncertain at best. Unemployment has flirted with record levels during the past several years. Many have given up searching for meaningful employment.

High school graduates turning to college can expect sizable tuition bills to earn a degree for a skill or vocation that may be thin on jobs. They can expect to encounter institutes of higher learning that are facing budgetary shortfalls or challenges.

Does that mean all is grim? Hardly.

We are still living in a time of innovation and opportunity. Rensselaer County has seen a number of new small businesses join the many long-standing independent or family owned businesses. Clothing shops, breweries, small retail outlets, automotive repair shops, technology-support centers, and agricultural-based businesses are just some of the new ventures in our county. These are added to the larger projects like the Regeneron expansion and recent development at the RPI Technology Park.

Places like Troy are being rediscovered after several years of revitalization and new growth. Other county communities are welcoming new residents, who recognize the great quality of life provided in Rensselaer County.

Rensselaer County has a proud tradition of invention, discovery and industry. We are excited that many young or new entrepreneurs are calling our county home and launching their business right here. To those dreaming big, we invite you to dream big right here in Rensselaer County.

For high school graduates who have yet to settle on a college, we invite you to visit or consider Hudson Valley Community College. This two-year college is considered one of the top community colleges in the region, offering a wide array

Every day, history is being made. Your graduation gives you the opportunity to make your mark. Let your graduation be the first of many great accomplishments in your life.

Whatever path you choose, congratulations!

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