Ed asks if there is any way to save upstate New York. But first I have to ask: is it worth saving? Our allegiance should fundamentally be to people, not places. Economic growth includes changes in the distribution of jobs, industries, and regions, and part of the real costs of growth are the costs for people to change jobs, industries, and regions. The market seems to be saying that people are worth more if they move out of upstate New York, and I have no particular reason to question that judgement. (I similarly think that letting poor foreigners move here can work better than figuring out how to improve their local economies.)
My answer is trite but solid: identify and correct for local market failures. That will give the area the best chance to attract activity, though that outcome would still be far from guaranteed. The most obvious uncorrected market failure I can see is inadequate density—we should weaken regulations that discourage higher density, such as minimum lot sizes, excess zoning regulations, and so on.
Richard recommends tolerance training, but I cannot see a substantial market failure there.