Randy Wolken

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

NexGen, a Silicon Valley start up, will get an extra $15 million from New York as it replaces SORAA, the company that will inhabit a $90-million facility built by the state in DeWitt.

NexGen deals in semiconductors and power electronics according to Randy Wolken, incoming co-chair of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

“Buy American” has been the rallying cry on a number of fronts this month, from President Donald Trump in his inaugural address to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Buy American” plan in his legislative agenda for 2017.  And boosters of manufacturing in central New York say the Syracuse-area could benefit from the attention.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Some state lawmakers want to try out a new job training program for small and medium sized manufacturers in central New York. The state Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) wants to spend $500,000 to create a way to train a new pool of workers at a time when a large number of these workers are reaching retirement age.

The average age of an employee in manufacturing today is 56. That’s why Randy Wolken, president and CEO of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, says a crisis is brewing when it comes time for companies to replace those workers.