October 3 2019

MFG Day 2019: Capital Region Manufacturers Have Much to Celebrate

When the Capital Region celebrates Manufacturing Day this Oct 4, it will do so with an expanding manufacturing sector. Over the past five years the sector has grown by 8.1 percent, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of data from the New York State Department of Labor.

Fastest-Growing Industries

In 2018, there were 34,642 manufacturing jobs in the eight-county region. That meant 6.5 percent of all jobs in the region, or one in 15, were in manufacturing. Over the year, employment in 10 manufacturing industries expanded. The fastest-growing among them was transportation equipment manufacturing with an 85 percent year-over-year gain to 794 employ. One manufacturer that may have helped drive this industry’s growth was the Latham-based fuel-cell maker Plug Power, which last year opened a 38,400-square-foot facility in Clifton Park. Other fast-growing industries included petroleum and coal products manufacturing (24 percent to 225), which locally includes asphalt paving mixture and block manufacturers; and beverage and tobacco product manufacturing (14 percent to 979).

Big Gains

The industry with the biggest year-over-year gain in employees was chemical manufacturing, which added 490 employees to a total 5,741. Chemical manufacturing is the region’s largest manufacturing industry by employment. In recent years, this industry’s growth has been driven by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in East Greenbush, where the company is building a second $800 million manufacturing complex that will support 1,500 new jobs. Other industries creating high numbers of jobs included transportation equipment manufacturing (+365), computer and electronic product manufacturing (+219), beverage and tobacco product manufacturing (+117) and paper manufacturing (+97).

Big 3

The region’s three largest manufacturing industries – chemical, computer and electronic product, and machinery – accounted for 42 percent of jobs in the sector. Other major industries with more than 2,000 jobs each included fabricated metal product, paper, miscellaneous, and food manufacturing. Manufacturing industries with less than 2,000 employees accounted for 30 percent of jobs in the sector.

CEG Activities to Support Industry Growth

Several initiatives are currently underway to ensure the Capital Region’s talent pipeline can meet the demands of manufacturers. They include:

The opening of the new Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills (CAMS) at Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC), a $14.5 million, 37,000 square foot building dedicated to providing hands-on training to machinists, toolmakers, industrial maintenance technicians and other skilled technical workers.

CEG received $250,000 from KeyBank to support the below manufacturing training programs:

HVCC’s Manufacturing Technology Pathways Project, a short-term, stackable credential training program, or “boot camp,”

SUNY Schenectady’s Certified Production Technician (CPT) program, a certificate course that skills up incumbent workers who are looking to advance their career, or enhance the education of unemployed or underemployed persons with manufacturing backgrounds.

Expansion of CEG’s Manufacturing Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP) to assist local manufacturers in training workers for high-skill trades.

CEG’s Business Growth Solutions (BGS) offers technical services to help Capital Region manufacturers with optimal improvement, strategic growth, sustainability and energy efficiency, and technology acceleration.

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