September 16 2019
Biotechnology/Life Sciences/Pharmaceuticals,Manufacturing

Capital Region Manufacturing Evolution

Area’s Drug Manufacturing Industry Becomes One of the Nation’s Largest

The Capital Region’s pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry is rapidly becoming the one of the nation’s largest. In the past five years, the five-county Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan statistical area’s national ranking for jobs in this industry has climbed to 13th from 20th. Even more, the MSA’s ranking for its concentration (location quotient) of those pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing workers climbed to 8th from 15th, according to a Center for Economic Growth analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.

Job Growth

In 2018, the Albany metro area averaged 2,956 pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing workers, up 1,576, or 114 percent, from five years earlier. Driving that growth has been the expansion of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ manufacturing facility in East Greenbush. The manufacturer’s planned $800 million development of a second campus there will create 1,500 jobs over six years and could push the Albany metro into the industry’s top 10 for employment.

Job Concentration

In 2018, the Albany metro’s location quotient (LQ1) for the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry was 3.28, compared to 1.58 five years earlier.

The MSAs with the highest pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing LQs reported by BLS in 2018 are:

  1. Vallejo-Fairfield: 11.83
  2. Greenville: 11.76
  3. Durham-Chapel Hill: 10.02
  4. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson: 9.54
  5. Trenton: 4.09
  6. Boulder: 3.82
  7. Portland-South Portland: 3.45
  8. Albany-Schenectady-Troy: 3.28
  9. Lincoln: 2.92
  10. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington: 2.56

CEG Activities

To grow the region’s life sciences cluster, which includes pharmaceutical companies, CEG is engaged in the following:

Developing a strategy to advance and attract firms in the biotechnology, medical device manufacturing and pharmaceutical fields to the Capital Region.

Promoting the Capital Region’s life sciences R&D assets and opportunities at industry conferences worldwide, such as the NY BIO Annual Conference, BIO International and MedTech Conference.

Helping establish and grow life sciences startups, such as Vital Vio, Speech Cradle and Ultradian Diagnostics, through its involvement as an Innovate 518 operational partner and a regional technology center under the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership program.

Boosting the region’s talent pipeline with programs such as CEG’s Manufacturing Intermediary Apprenticeship Program and the Manufacturing Technology Pathway boot camp at helping Hudson Valley Community College.

Helping biotech companies recruit talent from outside the region by representing them at career fairs throughout the Northeast and helping them connect with transitioning service members stationed worldwide through the Veteran Connect Center.

Assisting established and startup biotech firms access lab space at Capital Region’s colleges and universities, which are globally renowned for their R&D capabilities.


1The LQ measures a region’s employee concentration and compares it to that of the nation’s. An LQ of 1 represents the national average.

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