July 14 2017
Economic Analysis,Manufacturing

Capital Region Leads NY in Growing Small Manufacturers

Rensselaer and Greene Counties make biggest gains of small manufacturers


Although large manufacturers with hundreds of employees have captured much of the spotlight in recent years, they represent only a sliver of the Capital Region’s manufacturing establishments. In fact, almost nine out of 10 (86.7 percent) manufacturing establishments throughout the region’s eight counties have less than 50 employees. Even more, new U.S. Census Bureau data shows the Capital Region ranks second in New York State for growing these small manufacturers over five years.


Regional Gains

Forbes last month named the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan statistical area (MSA) the seventh most thriving manufacturing city in the nation. That is a feat small manufacturing establishments (<50 employees) share with their larger counterparts, such as GLOBALFOUNDRIES, General Electric and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Between 2011 and 2015, the number of Capital Region small manufacturing establishments increased by six, or 0.8 percent, to 730 – the second largest increase in New York. In contrast, the state’s ranks of small manufacturers declined by 641, or 4.3 percent, and the nation’s declined by 4,780, or 1.9 percent.

County Gains

Rensselaer County drove up the Capital Region’s small manufacturer total with a net gain of eight – the fifth greatest amount in the state, tied with Tompkins County. Greene, Columbia and Saratoga counties were the region’s only other counties that picked up more small manufacturers over the five-year period, increasing by six, two and two, respectively. However, these gains were partially offset by losses in Albany (-4), Schenectady (-3), Warren (-3) and Washington (-2) counties. On top of being the biggest gainers, Rensselaer and Greene counties have the region’s highest concentrations of small manufacturing establishments, both at 91.2 percent.

CEG Business Growth Solutions

CEG BGS is the Capital Region’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center. CEG BGS is part of the New York MEP program, which is facilitated by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and New York Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology. CEG’s Business Growth Solutions (BGS) unit helps Capital Region manufacturers – many of which have fewer than 50 employees – operate more efficiently and grow. Between 2012 and 2016, BGS has had a $229.8 million economic impact on Capital Region manufacturers, including the creation or retention of more than 1,600 jobs.

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