May 6 2020

Economic Development Month in Review: April 2020

For the Top Economic Development News of the Month, CEG selects news articles about projects or developments that promise to improve and/or transform the Capital Region’s economy, particularly those that related to manufacturing and initiatives outlined in, Capital 20.20, a five-year, multi-pronged plan for bringing economic prosperity to the entire region.

To learn about more the Capital Region’s economic development news from the past month, see CEG’s Economic Development Week in Review posts:

Hospitals, convenience stores fuel demand for AgroChem’s newest product

“AgroChem Inc. in Saratoga Springs is selling more than 3,000 gallons a week of its newest product, a hand sanitizing gel.

Demand is so strong, the plant manager, marketing staff and product planner all have jumped into to help on the packaging line, said president Rob DeMarco.”

Regeneron making 500,000 coronavirus test kits in East Greenbush

“Regeneron Pharmaceuticals will make a portion of at least 500,000 coronavirus test kits at its East Greenbush manufacturing complex and ship them to hospitals and test centers across New York state.

The drug developer is donating 100% of materials and labor needed to make the kits, which contain a liquid and tube needed to preserve patient nose and throat swabs until they can be tested for presence of the new coronavirus. The donation has an estimated value of $1 million.”

Spectrum hiring 200 in Rotterdam despite pandemic protocols

“Spectrum, the region’s dominant cable TV company, is hiring 200 new customer service reps for its new mobile phone unit at a time when many companies are sending workers home and laying off others amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The company, which says it plans to do interviews remotely, says the hiring program was planned before the pandemic began but has become increasingly important as everyday Americans work from home and shelter in place.”

Magazine printer Quad/Graphics wants to invest $45 million, add 74 jobs in Saratoga Springs

“Quad/Graphics Inc. is considering whether to spend $45 million to install two new presses at its Saratoga Springs printing plant, adding 74 jobs over the next two years.

The printer of Time, W magazine and Popular Mechanics is seeking $9 million in incentives to justify making the investment in upstate New York instead of Wisconsin where Quad is headquartered. The incentive package is expected to include $6 million from Empire State Development, New York’s economic development arm, plus $2.25 million in assistance from National Grid.”

Shaker Group charges ahead with $6 million expansion as pandemic slows economy

“Amusement park closings, a manufacturing slowdown and port shipping delays will not stop Shaker Group Inc. from charging ahead with a $5.9 million plan to triple its space and move its operations to Saratoga County. ‘It makes you think twice when you look at what is happening to the economy,” said Shaker Group president Jason Smith. “We see this project as the only way to sustain our growth.’”

SUNY Poly professors work on new coronavirus test

“Researchers at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute are developing a new COVID-19 test that can also provide health care workers with other information important to treating patients. SUNY Poly Professor Nate Cady and Associate Professor Scott Tenenbaum were awarded funding from SUNY central to create the new test, which will be more complex in its ability to offer the extra patient information, according to a media release Monday announcing the new test research.”

Schenectady backpack maker Tough Traveler now producing face masks for COVID-19 response

“A factory best known for its backpacks and duffel bags has started selling face masks by the thousands for people to wear when they venture into the public.

Tough Traveler Ltd. on State Street started producing simple non-medical masks just over a week ago.”

Colonie company gets FDA approval to make emergency ventilators

“PVA of Colonie received fast-track approval from the federal government late Friday to start making special emergency-use ventilators to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which normally makes devices for the electronics industry, switched gears to make the medical devices as states like New York ran low on ventilators needed in hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients.”

Area Distilleries Switch To Making Hand Sanitizer To Help Prevent COVID-19 Spread

“With the coronavirus pandemic gripping the nation, using hand sanitizer is one of the strong recommendation of health agencies around the globe.

To help bolster supplies locally, some businesses have turned completely away from their normal mission and are making sanitizer.”

Prime Group to build 6-story headquarters in downtown Saratoga Springs

“Prime Group Holdings, the largest private owner of self-storage units in the United States, wants to build a six-story corporate headquarters on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs.

Founder and chief executive Bob Moser plans to construct a $25 million-plus office building that will include a restaurant, ground-floor retail and two stories of underground parking.”

Core Tech moves ahead with Saratoga County expansion

“George Hubschmitt and Core Tech Industrial Corp. will start construction of a $1.7 million expansion at its Ballston factory this month amid growing demand for equipment at power plants.

“We have a lot of business coming in during the fourth quarter,” said Hubschmitt, founder and co-owner of the Saratoga County engineering and manufacturing company.”

RPI researchers develop UVC light to sterilize masks

“The shortage of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) has been a persistent problem for medical and other front-line workers as they battle the COVID-19 pandemic at close range day after day.

A team of researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has developed a potential solution: a machine that uses ultraviolet (UVC) light to sterilize thousands of protective masks each day, rendering them safe for reuse.”


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