President’s Message – April, 2017
CEG Accelerates in Q1
Economic development happens when the interests of multiple parties from the public and private sectors align to help a new or existing business expand, recover or relocate. Although a not-for-profit business, The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) has reached a $6 million target for our Accelerate capital campaign. The Capital Region is now in a better position to support economic development as the local business community is committed to help new and existing businesses grow and create jobs.
Since last September, nearly 200 public and private organizations have pledged to support CEG because of their shared interest in seeing the Capital Region’s economy thrive. See our Investor List. Through this successful campaign and collaborative investment to accelerate and secure our region’s economic stability, CEG will focus on these five strategic initiatives:
- Be the primary and most comprehensive resource for business development;
- Aggressively market our entire community to attract new businesses and investment;
- Strengthen existing businesses to be more competitive in the global market place through Business Growth Solutions and Talent Connect programs;
- Enhance partnerships and communication by providing high-level networking among the regions’ most influential stakeholders;
- Advance Capital 20.20, a five-year plan for our region’s future.
We thank all the business and community leaders who have invested in CEG and recognized not only that the Capital Region has great potential but also that an economic development organization is needed to unleash it at an accelerated rate.
You can now see the Capital Region in a whole new way with CEG’s new website at www.ceg.org. This sleek, comprehensive, mobile-friendly website now features a Research & Insights Blog; more news; detailed information about CEG’s services, including Talent Connect and Business Growth Solutions; and an expanded Capital Region Profile. Check out www.ceg.org today.
Spreading the Word
During the first quarter, CEG represented the Capital Region at eight trade and economic development conferences in four states and one Canadian province. These events included:
- SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS)
- Bio CEO & Investors Conference
- SelectUSA Manufacturing Forum
- NY BEST Capture the Energy Conference
- Site Selectors Guild Annual Conference
- International Battery Seminar & Exhibit
- Intersolar Summit USA East
- American Manufacturing Summit.
Business Growth Solutions
As one of this issue’s research articles highlights, the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan statistical area had the nation’s fifth-fastest growing manufacturing sector. CEG is proud to have participated in this achievement as a regional technology development center under the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. In 2016, our Business Growth Solutions (BGS) unit helped Capital Region manufacturers create and retain jobs, increase sales and achieve cost savings.
Another research article in this issue details how the Capital Region is upstate’s leader in non-residential solar power generation. To further drive the adoption of commercial and industrial solar systems, we are launching CEG SolarGen, a collaborative solar procurement initiative for which CEG will issue a competitive request for proposals (RFP) and select one or more solar developers to install medium- to large-scale photovoltaic arrays (50-200+ kilowatts) at manufacturing and other commercial facilities. This initiative will save businesses months in vetting solar developers, because we will do that with NYSERDA. They could also save up to 10 percent on project cost. Businesses interested in CEG SolarGen can register here.
As of March 31, 2017, Talent Connect was actively assisting 46 relocated or soon-to-be relocated professional new hires of CEG investors with community resources and other Talent Connect services. Of those 46 new hires, 25 have requested career support services for their spouse/partner, and eight of them are new to the U.S. and using our cultural transitioning services. The Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, The College of Saint Rose, and Taconic Biosciences are now utilizing the Talent Connect program.
The Pathways Project: An Advanced Manufacturing Careers Study
The Capital Region has deep roots in manufacturing. While traditional manufacturing remains a cornerstone of the region’s economy, global trends indicate that impacts of advanced manufacturing, such as semiconductors, advanced materials and medical devices, will be sweeping.
To ensure the Capital Region’s workforce is prepared for this change, CEG is serving as the program manager of The Pathways Project. Through this initiative we will examine the Capital Region’s transferable skills amongst a spectrum of manufacturing careers, pinpointing where there is overlap between positions in the industry. Funded by the Columbia, Greene, Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Warren and Washington WIBs, The Pathways Project aims to create and define a pathway by which incumbents and new entrants to the region’s manufacturing sector can identify what positions match their skillsets what skills they need and where they can get them to advance their career in the industry. The project is expected to be complete in the summer of 2017.
Out of the 30 economic indicators tracked for our quarterly CEG Economic Scorecards, twenty-two of them were positive in Q1 and eight were negative. The scorecards reveal positive trends for consumer- and transportation-related industries. Our Manufacturing Scorecard indicates New York manufacturers are very optimistic, but we are still waiting for that optimism to translate into results. The Capital Region continues to maintain a healthy unemployment rate, though declines in government employment and the size of labor force adversely impacted the General Economic Scorecard’s total score.
Capital 20.20 Update
The Capital Region continues to move closer to realizing the vision of Capital 20.20, a five-year plan for bringing economic prosperity to each of our eight counties. Many of the below advancements developed on their own and some came with CEG’s support.
Next-Tech – Population Health Technology Cluster
- The governor’s executive budget includes plans to consolidate the Department of Health’s five Wadsworth Center
- Albany Medical College’s Biomedical Accelerator and Commercialization Center awarded $25,000 to five bioscience start-up companies.
- Community Care Physicians, an early adopter of electronic health records, launched a Virtual Care telemedicine application for the iPhone.
- The first Population Health Innovation Summit was held at the Albany Capital Center on March 27.
- Schenectady County Community College opened a biotechnology facility and unveiled two programs.
Next-Tech – Clean-Tech Cluster
- SUNY Polytechnic Institute-led S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium launched the Solar Energy Optimization Testkit.
- Plug Power shipped its first hydrogen fuel cells for the electric vehicle market.
- “The New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium (NY-PEMC) at SUNY Polytechnic Institute‘s Albany NanoTech Complex produced its first silicon carbide (SiC)-based patterned wafer.
- Environmental One expands its utility battery manufacturing operations in Niskayuna.
- Monolith Solar began construction on its Slingerlands headquarters.
- Solar power use in the Capital Region increased substantially in 2016.
Gateway – Ports Modernization and Expansion
- The Port of Albany’s million expansion is slated to begin this summer.
- The Department of Environmental Conservation is reviewing an application for a heavy-lift crane at the Port of Coeymans.
Gateway – Fulfillment Hub Expansion
- Demand from the logistics and distribution industry pushed the region’s industrial vacancy rate percent during the second half of 2016.
- M. Gallivan, a Brunswick truck hauling and landscape supplier, acquired a new headquarters in Cohoes.
- Dollar General million distribution center in Montgomery County.
- East Greenbush approved a 165,000- to 190,000-square-foot Regeneron warehouse at the Mill Creek Commerce Park.
Talent – Enhanced Higher Education Footprint
- The SUNY Polytechnic Institute received $1.75 million in grants for an Advanced Manufacturing Performance Center, a high-tech workforce training and research and development initiative.
Lift-Off – Creative Economy Accelerator
- The American Dance Institute will convert a former Catskill supply store into a performing arts incubator called Lumberyard.
Lift-Off – CRAFT Business Hub (2,400)
- Argyle Cheese Farmer relocates to Glens Falls to expand operations.
- Nine Pin Cider in Albany hosts the third annual Gathering of the Farm Cideries.
- Common Roots Brewing receives $100,000 Empire State Development grant streamline its brewing process and nearly double its production capacity.
- The Rivers Casino opened in Schenectady.
- Great Flats Brewery opened in Schenectady.
- Druthers Brewing will open a location at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady.
- Crossroads Brewing Company will open in Catskill this summer.
Metro – Downtown Catalyst Projects
- Up to three downtown Glens Falls niche retailers will receive start-up funding via the city’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Award.
- Develop plans $2 million rehab for historic buildings in Albany’s Warehouse District.
- Albany Distilling Co. will open a retail store near Albany’s warehouse district.
- The Town of Colonie approved a joint oversight body to review plans for the 1st Prize Center’s redevelopment.
- The 80,000-square-foot Albany Capital Center
- Downtown Troy’s video game cluster is thriving.
Metro – CDTA Expansion
- Second Amtrak Albany-Schenectady rail line scheduled for completion in spring.