Capital Region’s Sand and Gravel Mining Industry Grows to 3rd Largest in US
Sand and gravel mining operations for Callanan Industries (left), R.J. Valente (right).
As road crews head out this spring to work on roads and other construction projects, they are being supported by a mining industry in the Capital Region that has grown to one of the largest in the country, according to a Center for Economic Growth analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and New York State Department of Labor.
During its peak employment season last summer (Q2 2022), the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan statistical area’s sand, clay, and refractory mineral mining industry averaged 957 jobs – a 47.8 percent increase from five years earlier. That made this Albany metro industry the third largest in the country in terms of employment – and just one job behind the No.2-ranked Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA. Among 113 counties for which employment data is available, Albany County ranked third for sand, gravel, clay, and ceramic and refractory minerals mining and quarrying jobs in Q3 2022 (553) and Rensselaer County ranked 12th (249).
“R. J. Valente Companies has become one of the largest suppliers of aggregate and asphalt to the Capital District. Having the source of the stone we supply to our asphalt plant and paving company that puts us to the forefront. Hard work and good employees, keep us together to be a leader in the infrastructure in the Capital District,” said R. J. Valente Companies Owner and President Roderick Valente.
Callanan Industries President Donald Fane said, “We have grown into one of the largest paving material suppliers in the New York State with multiple locations and approximately 500 employees during our construction season. As businesses continue to grow in the Capital Region, our industry must grow with it in order to meet demands on the expanding infrastructure. This has created numerous job opportunities in our business and beyond, and we expect that trend to continue. Callanan is proud to have had such an impact on the history of the Capital Region and we are excited to see what the future holds for our region.”
The overwhelming majority of jobs in the sand, clay, and refractory mineral mining industry (99.5 percent) are specific to construction sand and gravel mining. Capital Region sand and gravel mining employers include Callanan Industries and R.J. Valente. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, there are 115 sand and gravel mines in the five-county Albany metro area, with the most being in Saratoga County (48). The sand and gravel mines with the most acreage permitted for mining belong to Callanan Industries (North Greenbush, 538 acres), William W. Fane Inc. (Schaghticoke, 270.8 acres) and Pompa Bros (Corinth, 216.6 acres).
In 2017, 10.2 million tons of gravel and 855,100 tons of sand freight originated in the Albany-Schenectady Commodity Flow Survey (CFS) Area. Nearly all those commodities (99.9 percent) were shipped to locations within New York State. More than four-fifths of the gravel (85.8 percent) and more than half of the sand (54.2 percent) stayed within the Albany-Schenectady CFS Area, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Freight Analysis Framework (FAF5) tool. The Albany-Schenectady CFS Area covers the greater Capital Region minus Greene County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, and Washington counties.
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