April 14 2020

Economic Development Month in Review: March, 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:

Universal Preservation Hall begins new life

“After the pianist began playing at Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs, Teddy Foster started to cry. That night was about two weeks ago. Contractors, UPH staff and board members and employees of its parent organization, Proctors in Schenectady, had gathered for a private concert to give a formal acoustic tryout for the hall after more than 18 months of construction. For Foster, it was the most significant moment thus far signaling that a long-held vision had been realized.”

John Vogel and Tire Conversion Technologies are searching for a new location that would allow the rubber parts maker to increase production by 50%.

“John Vogel and Tire Conversion Technologies are searching for a new location that would allow the rubber parts maker to increase production by 50%.

The chief executive officer just surpassed $1 million in sales during his last quarter for the first time in the company’s 22-year history. The Latham manufacturer is on pace to match that performance this quarter as it continues to attract more business since opening an office in Edinburgh, Scotland, six months ago.”

HVCC planning $70 million training center for electricians, welders, mechanics, pipe fitters

“Hudson Valley Community College wants to build a 125,000-square-foot technology center capable of producing 4,700 welders, auto mechanics, pipe fitters and technicians over the next decade.

The three-story, $65 million to $70 million training hub is part of HVCC president Dr. Roger Ramsammy’s strategy to position the two-year Troy school to help resolve a growing demand for skilled trades people.”

Plug Power added 150 jobs last year

“Fuel cell maker Plug Power has nearly doubled its workforce over the past five years, adding manufacturing and research hubs in upstate New York, plus two service centers in the Midwest.

The Latham manufacturer’s payroll reached 835 at the end of last year, adding 150 people in 2019, according to details outlined in an annual report filed Tuesday with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission.”

Amazon proposes ‘last mile’ distribution center in town of Florida

“Internet giant Amazon is applying for regulatory approvals to modify the former Cytech Hardwoods building on Route 5S off of I-90 into a “last mile” distribution center.

Florida Planning Board Chairman Michael Taylor said his board has reviewed the proposal from Amazon and has applied to become the lead agency for the State Environmental Quality Review Act [SEQR] for the project.”

SuperPower moving to Schenectady County airport business park

“SuperPower Inc. of Schenectady will move its operations from Schenectady into a $10 million manufacturing and office complex being constructed at the Airport Business Park in Glenville.

The manufacturer of superconducting wire used in large generators, motors and electric utilities will become the tenant of a 47,000-square-foot building being developed by Plank Construction Services and Highbridge Development of Schenectady at 21 Airport Road.”

SBA to provide disaster-assistance loans to businesses hurt by coronavirus

“The U.S. Small Business Administration will be working to give businesses hurt by the novel coronavirus pandemic up to $2 million in low-interest loans.

The SBA will work with individual governors to identify businesses needing assistance, SBA announced Monday. Loans can be used for payroll, fixed debts and other bills that can’t be paid because of the virus’ impact.”

Schoharie County had a jobless rate of 6.2 percent.”

Chip making goes on at GlobalFoundries amid coronavirus

“The Capital Region’s computer chip manufacturing sector is sending non-essential employees home and crossing their fingers that the coronavirus epidemic doesn’t do much damage to their orders.

For now though, GlobalFoundries, which employs 3,000 people at its Fab 8 chip factory in Malta, says things are running smoothly in the fab’s clean rooms, with orders not dropping off yet.”

Kennedy: Glimmer of hope for area’s economy

“It was just a thread of optimism, but worth grabbing hold of: The Albany metro isn’t likely to feel the full weight of any economic collapse caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The sliver of hope came via Brookings Institution, a research group in Washington, D.C., which crunched data to see how significant a job share five industry sectors have in nearly 400 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas. The five sectors recently were cited by Mark Zandi, chief economist at research firm Moody’s Analytics, as “most at risk” from the pandemic.”

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.”

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