President’s Message – October, 2017
More and more Capital Region businesses, nonprofits and government agencies are recognizing the need for a regional economic development organization to accelerate the growth of our economy and ensure prosperity reaches all of its eight counties. We continue to exceed our $6 million “Accelerate” capital campaign and are proud to announce the most recent companies to have committed to investing in CEG include the following:
- SUNY Research Foundation
- Pike Construction
- Capital Rep Theatre
- TD Bank
- Capital Gondola
- Carver Co’s./Port Of Coeymans
- Schenectady Metroplex
- Plug Power
On Sept. 7, the nation’s leading online retailer, Amazon, issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a second headquarters, dubbed “HQ2,” which will employ up to 50,000 full-time workers and generate $5 billion in capital expenditures. Upon learning of this opportunity, we alerted all of the Capital Region’s economic development organizations and solicited their ideas on potential sites that could satisfy Amazon’s needs.
CEG is now serving as the Capital Region’s leader in developing a regional strategy and producing a strong proposal to bring HQ2 to the region. We will face fierce competition from other metro areas, but this RFP is accentuating our strengths as a region. For example, our colleges and universities over the past three years have awarded thousands of degrees in Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services and Computer Engineering Technologies – key areas in which Amazon is looking for talent. On top of that, we have unmatched R&D opportunities in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as well as cybersecurity at the University at Albany.
We are working diligently with our partners in government, the nonprofit community and industry to prepare our HQ2 proposal, which must be submitted to Amazon by Oct. 19. For more about CEG’s efforts, see these articles:
- Kennedy TU Op-ed: Capital Region talent, assets big enough to lure Amazon
- Times Union: Capital Region dreams of Amazon’s $5 billion HQ2
- Business Review: Why the Albany region needs Cuomo to get Amazon’s $5 billion headquarters
- Magazine IDs Albany as 1 of 53 Cities Vying for Amazon’s HQ2
This year mark’s CEG’s 30th year serving as the Capital Region’s professional economic and business development organization. Your partnership is vital to our success and the success of our region, and we invite you to join us for our 2017 Annual Meeting and Anniversary celebration – “A Region Connected” – on Thursday, Nov. 2 at the Hall of Springs. The evening will feature networking, cocktails and seated dinner with keynote speaker: Robert Safian, editor and managing director of Fast Company. Please contact Andrea Swank to register for this sold-out event. We hope you can join us!
CREDC Progress Report
CEG, in collaboration with Empire State Development, the University at Albany and Albany Medical College, recently completed the 2017 Progress Report for the Capital Region Economic Development Council (CREDC). This 151-page report details the state of the region’s economy, the status of projects that have received funding through the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) process since 2011, progress made in advancing state priorities and regional strategies, and proposed priority projects for REDC Round 7. Last year’s Progress Report helped the region win $83.1 million in REDC Round 6. Click here to read the 2017 Progress Report. Thank you to our partners in developing this report, the CREDC workgroups for their input and Overit for production support.
Manufacturing Technology Pathways Program
CEG is working with Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) to set up a new, stackable credential program for individuals looking to enter the manufacturing workforce. This model was a key recommendation of the Pathways Project for Advanced Manufacturing, which CEG completed in June of this year. The project is being supported by a SUNY Research Foundation grant and a Workforce Development Institute grant.
This intensive, multi-level program will provide an immediate, effective education option for adults seeking to enter into the manufacturing workforce, and will build access to a variety of local manufacturers who have indicated difficulty filling positions.
- Level 1 will be a short non-credit course consisting of 18 to 20 hours of online classes. Individuals completing this level of training would be prepared to go immediately into entry level jobs in basic assembly and warehousing. Alternatively, they can move up to Level 2 of the program.
- Level 2 will include an 80-hour intense BOOTCAMP offered over two consecutive weeks. The intense hybrid model would consist of on-line classes, in-person instruction and hands-on guided instruction in classrooms and labs. Training will build on the skills learned in Manufacturing Technology Pathway Level 1.
Talent Connect Ramps up Recruitment at Fort Drum, MIT and More
Talent Connect represented CEG investors and higher education institutions at Fort Drum’s Career Fair Day in Watertown on Aug. 30. This event was for soldiers who are close to completing their military requirements and who are looking for a private career or in furthering their education. For soldiers interested in our area, we have connected them to appropriate employers and higher education institutions based on their interest and experience.
CEG sponsored the Times Union Technology and Manufacturing Career Fair at the Albany Marriott on Sept. 6. Broadening Talent Connect’s recruitment reach, we also had staff representing CEG investors and higher education institutions at job fairs at MIT in Boston on Sept. 29 and the Hartford Career Expo on Oct. 5. Our Talent Connect staff will return to Fort Drum for another job fair on Nov. 2.
Talent Connect has also bolstered its career support for relocated new hire’s spouse/partner career seekers by creating a new quarterly flyer for our CEG investor HR professionals. The flyer is organized by industries, names, and roles they are seeking. All career-seeking spouses/partners are also being introduced personally to our recruiting partners: Fusco Personnel, Linium, and Walrath Recruiting.
Business Growth Solutions Achieves NIST MEP “Promoter” Score
CEG’s Business Growth Solutions (BGS) unit continued to have a tremendous impact on the Capital Region’s manufacturing sector, supporting more than $2 million in increased or retained sales and helping created or retain 56 jobs. Below are BGS’s second quarter economic impacts, based on National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) surveys of Capital Region manufacturers it served:
- Increase Sales = $730,000
- Retain Sales = $1,300,000
- Jobs Created = 4
- Jobs Retained = 52
- Cost Savings Amount = $125,000
- Increased Investment in New Products = $610,000
- Invest in Plant/Equip = $60,000
- Invest in Information Systems/Software = $12,000
- Invest in Workforce Practices/Employee Skills = $15,100
- Avoid unnecessary or save on investments = $60,000
Based on these impact, BGS received a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 9.17 out of 10. According to NIST MEP, the NPS is used to “evaluate [MEP] center and program performance relative to this performance measure.” MEP centers with an NPS between 10 and 9 and considered “promoters,” whereas those between 8 and 7 are “passive” and 6 and 0 are “detractors.”
CEG partnered with our colleagues from Rensselaer County IDA, Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, Empire State Development, SUNY Polytechnic as well the Mohawk Valley EDGE, White Pine and the STAMP site in Genesee County to again exhibit at SEMICON West in San Francisco this past July. SEMICON West is the largest semiconductor industry show in North America and was co-located with Intersolar North America and the Energy Storage Industry show this year, expanding our reach to leading companies in those related sectors. CEG representatives met with more than 40 companies at the show and hosted more than 300 industry leaders at our annual dessert reception sponsored by our NY Loves Nanotech team, National Grid, Banner Industries, SSOE Group and other leading industry companies.
To strengthen the ties within the region’s life sciences – and to facilitate the establishment of new ties – Bioconnex and NY Bio on Aug. 31 hosted an industry networking and promotion event at the Saratoga Race Track.
On Oct. 3, CEG and Silicon Europe Worldwide organized a multiday event in Albany where European and North American SMEs, large corporations, universities and research institutes gathered to meet and identify potential opportunities. This was the first international conference CEG has organized where we spotlighted not only our semiconductor assets but also those relating to autonomous operations, health applications, smart cities and advanced electronics. More than 100 people attended the event, with representation from several European countries. CEG and Silicon Europe signed a memorandum of understanding to continue their joint support for business and technological cooperation and to continue holding similar events in the region or Europe.
The Capital Region’s economy remained on a steady course through Q3 with most trends across the scorecards remaining the same from the previous quarter. However, improvement in the manufacturing sector – particularly in regard to wages – resulted in a total of 18 positive indicators, compared to 17 positive in the previous quarter. To view all five of CEG Economic Scorecards, click here.