Capital Region MFG Employment Highest Since 2001
CEG Tours German MFGs for Apprenticeship Best Practices
Morcon Tissue, Eagle Bridge
Employment in Capital Region’s manufacturing sector last summer grew to its highest level in more than two decades – driven by manufacturers such as Plug Power, BelGioioso Cheese, Morcon Tissue and Medline Industries, according to a Center for Economic Growth analysis of new Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data from the New York State Department of Labor.
In the third quarter of 2022, Capital Region privately owned manufacturers averaged 35,176 jobs – the sector’s highest quarterly employment since Q4 2001. That also makes the Capital Region’s manufacturing sector the only one in the state among nine other economic development regions that is larger than it was before the pandemic, three years earlier.
“The growth and success we have experienced at Morcon is directly attributed to the outstanding performance of our entire team. Our record year in 2022 has positioned Morcon for even greater growth in 2023 and beyond. We recently announced an expansion project in Eagle Bridge, NY and we are planning for an April groundbreaking. This is truly an exciting time for Morcon Tissue,” said Morcon Tissue Owner, President and CEO Joe Raccuia.
“Medline is proud to be a Glens Falls community business member, with more than 300 employees who call the area home. Since acquiring the NAMIC business in 2019, Medline has made significant investments towards becoming an employer of choice in the region by investing in our manufacturing operations to make work easier for employees and better serve healthcare providers, provide competitive wages, and develop team member training programs to guide career development,” said Medline Senior Director of Manufacturing Operations Jeremy Sharp.
“As a leading provider of turnkey hydrogen solutions for the global green hydrogen economy, Plug is proud to be headquartered and adding manufacturing jobs in the New York State Capital Region while contributing to the state’s clean renewable energy goals,” said Plug Power President and CEO Andy Marsh. “By opening our new world-class 407,000-square-foot fuel cell manufacturing facility at Vista Technology Park in Slingerlands, we’ve added even more good-paying, green collar jobs in the region and will continue to do so as we expand to employ 1,600 employees in the next five years at the facility. We are grateful for our partnership with CEG on a number of initiatives, including expansion of our registered apprenticeship program and other workforce development programs, to ensure that we will have the talent necessary to maintain our industry-leading position and help to decarbonize our planet.”
MAJOR MFG GAINERS
Between the third quarters of 2021 and 2022, Capital Region manufacturers added 1,644 jobs, or 4.9 percent. That was the greatest year-over-year increase and the fastest growth rate since Q3 2011.
However, whereas that Q3 2011 growth was concentrated around three subsectors, last summer there were five manufacturing subsectors that each added more than 100 jobs. Back in Q3 2011, subsectors with mega manufacturers, such as General Electric and GlobalFoundries, drove employment gains.
In contrast, the manufacturing subsectors driving employment growth last summer in the eight-county region were:
Smaller Hot MFG Industries
The below Capital Region manufacturing industries are now substantially larger than they were before the pandemic (Q3 2019 vs Q3 2022):
- The region’s commercial and service industry machinery grew by 633 percent to 110. Over the last two years, Greene and Washington counties have each welcomed one employer establishment in this industry.
- Ornamental and architectural metal work employment nearly quadrupled (276.1 percent) to 173.
- Brewery employment was up by more than two-thirds (67.7 percent) to 545.
- Distillery employment more than doubled (114.6 percent) to 103 jobs.
- Snack food manufacturing quadrupled (327.3 percent) to 47.
To help Capital Region manufacturers continue to grow, CEG is looking to incorporate apprenticeship best practices gleaned from German manufacturers. Since 2019, CEG has been sponsoring apprenticeships, and it currently oversees 54 apprentices for eight Capital Region manufacturers and technology firms.
MEP representatives who participated in the Stronger Together
Manufacturing Workforce Missions to Germany.
Last February, CEG participated in a Stronger Together Manufacturing Workforce Missions to Germany. Representatives from CEG and several other Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers visited businesses, vocational and training schools, the Chamber of Commerce, and other social partners in Munich and Augsburg to learn more about the German Vocational and Education Training (VET) system. Since the trip, the MEPs have developed a set of recommendations that could be implemented across the country for various partners based.
“This trip was valuable to CEG as a group sponsor for New York State Registered Apprenticeship programs,” said CEG Director of Workforce Development Christine McLear. “The chance to learn from our Germany counterparts, who have had structured and formalized apprenticeship programs for more than 100 years, was incredibly informative. I look forward to sharing that expertise with our partner companies and other stakeholders. I hope that this experience leads to new partnerships and ultimately strengthens our region’s workforce.”
The Stronger Together Manufacturing Workforce Missions are organized and administered by MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network and the American Council on Germany with support from the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
As a New York State MEP center, CEG also helps Capital Region manufacturers increase their productivity by providing a menu of technical support services, such as Lean Enterprise Training, ISO Certification Assistance, Technology-Driven Market Intelligence, and CoreValue benchmarking assessments.
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