Capital Region Manufacturing Startups Rebound and Rev Up
Employment among the Capital Region’s startup manufacturers rebounded in 2022 after entrepreneurial activity in the sector hit a decades-low during the pandemic, according to a Center for Economic Growth analysis of U.S. Census Bureau Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) and Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) surveys.
In 2021, the eight-county Capital Region launched its fewest annual number of manufacturing employer establishments (33 “births”) in more than four decades. This drop came not long after the region hit a 20-year manufacturing birth high of 71 in 2018. And at an average 197 jobs in 2021, employment among manufacturers between 0 and 1 year old was also at its lowest since 2015.
While BDS establishment birth data is not yet available for 2022, QWI data shows that employment among manufacturers between 0 and 1 year old averaged 360 in 2022 – the highest annual average among startups in this sector in eight years. Even more, employment among these manufacturing startups reached 465 in Q4 2022 – the highest quarterly total since Q4 2010.
One of the Capital Region’s newest manufacturing startups is MetaOrnate in Troy. MetaOrnate this spring will deliver the western hemisphere’s first 3D-printed ceramic façade made with a robotic arm that CEG helped bring to the Tech Valley Center of Gravity, a maker space in Troy. Other examples of Capital Region manufacturing startups include Prixel in Hudson and Free Form Fibers.
“Locating my additive manufacturing startup in the Capital Region was entirely about the resources available. Organizations like the Center For Economic Growth, Fuzehub, and the Tech Valley Center Of Gravity have been huge incentives to found my startup in the area, & as professor with RPI, the talent graduating into the Capital Region is excellent & it has been lucrative to hire directly from my students,” said MetaOrnate founder Riley Studebaker.
The robotic arm that MetaOrnate uses to make 3D-printed ceramic facades
Much of the manufacturing startup employment growth was concentrated in Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties. Within this sector in Albany County, startup employment increased by 179 percent to 92. In Rensselaer County, manufacturing startup employment increased by 186 percent to 40, and in Saratoga County it increased by 146 percent to 128.
As a Corporate Sponsor of the Tech Valley Center of Gravity, CEG can help engage you in a Manufacturing Incubator Program and Prototyping Center. CEG is also an affiliate of the Capital Region Chamber, which provides support services for entrepreneurs include, loan programs, entrepreneur boot camps ,an MWBE program, and a BIPOC Business Growth initiative.
Don’t miss these insights into the trends that are shaping the Capital Region’s economy. Sign up for CEG’s e-news and follow us on: