The Secret Ingredient In The `Hot Spots' Recipe

I read the article on "Hot spots: America's new growth regions" (Cover Story, Oct. 19) on the same day that the first Presidential debate took place, with its constant refrain of economic growth and job creation.

While the three candidates formulated any number of theories for kick-starting the economy, none of them mentioned the central thesis of your article: that an "uncommon alliance" among government, business, and universities has allowed the creation of high-tech growth zones throughout the country.

As president of Alfred University, I've seen how close cooperation among our university, government officials, and Corning Inc. executives could result, in a relatively short time, in the construction of not one but two Ceramic Innovation Centers, located in Alfred and Corning.

The result? For New York's economically troubled Southern Tier, the cooperation means jobs, now and into the future. Our preliminary market studies indicate that within 10 years, fledgling industries hatched by our incubators will generate 1,400 new jobs.

Edward G. Coll Jr.


Alfred University

Alfred, N.Y.

You did a great job of identifying the factors essential for technology-based economic development. But in order for the Ceramics Corridor to become a reality, local leaders had to overcome historical rivalries between neighboring communities and convince others that competition in the global marketplace required partnerships between corporations and universities and between large and small companies, with government supplying the needed infrastructure.

Many communities have the elements to become hot spots--excellent universities, high-tech companies with growth potential, good quality of life, and the necessary infrastructure. What they need are people such as Rick Ott at Alfred University, Bob Ecklin at Corning, and others who understand that only by collaborating can they achieve what isrequired for us to be internationally competitive.

Jana B. Matthews

Boulder, Colo.