Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro will today travel to the United States of America (USA) on an information exchange mission aimed at gaining further expertise in bringing more money and jobs into regional economies.

Mr Barilaro said rural and regional communities in New York State and North Carolina are benefitting from innovative local programs, initiatives and policies, especially in the areas of skills and infrastructure.

“New York and North Carolina’s experience with regional economic development strategies present an exciting learning opportunity for our NSW communities,” Mr Barilaro said. “New York State’s regional economic development strategies are five to ten years ahead of Australia and I will ensure we take home their key learnings and use it to attract, train and retain skilled workers in regional NSW,” he said.

The Deputy Premier will learn about innovative initiatives, such as the State University of New York (SUNY) program which offers specialised training to meet workforce demand of local manufacturers in Broome County.

Mr Barilaro said learnings from the USA visit would complement specific NSW Government programs, including the new Regional Economic Development Strategies (REDS) program, which assists regions with economic development. “We’ve laid critical foundations to bolster NSW’s regional economies and this visit will arm us with fresh information to help us take that economic development to the next level,” Mr Barilaro said.

During the visit, Mr Barilaro will meet with representatives from Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) in New York State and North Carolina’s Department of Commerce. Mr Barilaro will also meet with Southern Tier REDC representatives in Corning, NY and North Country REDC representatives in Plattsburgh, NY before travelling to Raleigh, NC to meet with North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division representatives.

Mr Barilaro has also been invited to attend the International SMR and Advanced Reactor Summit in Atlanta. The visit to the USA will take place from 20 March to 28 March.