Here is another in our continuing series of articles about things going on around Rochester. Enjoy!

Colleges across the country strive to create an environment that attracts businesses to their area, in an effort to benefit the local community and give students more opportunities for employment. Businesses stand to benefit from setting up shop in these college areas due to the large pool of highly-educated individuals looking for jobs in their backyard.

Of the 1,837 colleges and universities throughout the United States, the Rochester Institute of Technology will have the opportunity to attract more of these businesses to the Rochester area, giving their highly skilled students more career possibilities in their own community.

Last week, RIT was awarded $1.5 million in grant money after winning a state competition to fund projects that will stimulate the economy and job growth in New York. The school will use the money to build its MAGIC Spell Studios that will create a link between RIT’s academic programs and commercial activities in the region.

“We are very excited about the MAGIC Spell Studios project, and what it will mean for our region,” said Bill Destler, President of RIT, according to RIT University News. “We appreciate Gov. Cuomo and the regional council’s support of this project, which we believe will capitalize on work being done at RIT to add great economic value to our community.”

RIT ranks among the best in the nation for its academic programs in computer gaming, film and animation, graphic design and imaging science, and the new MAGIC Spell Studios will provide the technological facilities required by these commercial industries. By creating a technological hub for students and industry leaders, RIT hopes to retain its highly skilled graduates interested in pursuing careers in these fields.

A total of $80.7 million was awarded to the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council through the state’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative. This was the fourth round of the initiative that divided the state into 10 economic regions to compete for funding for projects that would boost the economy and create more jobs.

Other big winners in the Finger Lakes Region were High Tech Rochester, Inc., which won $5 million to support the Business Accelerator Cooperative, and the Sibley Tower, the renovation of which will be funded by a $3 million grant.